Rangers Dellucci, Cordero undecided about WBC

Updated: February 20, 2006, 10:48 PM ET
Associated Press

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers outfielder David Dellucci is competing for a starting job, and Francisco Cordero wants to regain the form that made him one of baseball's best closers in 2004.

David Dellucci
Francisco Cordero

As a result, both are undecided about playing in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Dellucci, who would play for Italy, is hesitant to leave the Rangers to practice and play with the Italian team in Kissimmee, Fla. The tournament runs March 3-20.

"When it first came up, I was excited about it," Dellucci said. "Now that it's closer and closer, I'm concerned about the timing of it coming so close before the season starts. My job is with the Texas Rangers."

Cordero is slated to pitch for the Dominican Republic, but he wants to wait another week to decide whether his arm is ready.

"I just don't know yet," said Cordero, who had 49 saves and a 2.13 ERA two years ago but slumped to 37 and 3.39 last season. "I just can't tell you now."

Dellucci, in his third year with the Rangers, led the team in walks (76) and triples (five) last season. Besides competing for an outfield spot, he's in line for DH duty. He isn't even sure how valuable he'll be to the Italian team.

"I'll tell you what I'm going to do," the nine-year veteran said. "Just like the last several years, I'm going to have a terrible spring statistically and then pick it up in the final week. I'm not a good spring player whether for the Italian team or the Rangers."

Dellucci, who is from a Baton Rouge, La., was the only player without visa problems to wait until Monday's deadline to report. He has been helping Hurricane Katrina victims through his Catch 22 For Blue foundation.

"Even now, there are still people there who haven't been able to get insurance payments," Dellucci said. "We've been able to raise $80,000, but even more, we've been able to touch people directly and offer them hope."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press