Majewski, Leiter to replace Wagner, Sabathia

Updated: March 1, 2006, 8:35 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- New York Mets closer Billy Wagner and Cleveland pitcher C.C. Sabathia withdrew Wednesday from the U.S. roster for the World Baseball Classic and were replaced by Washington right-hander Gary Majewski and Yankees left-hander Al Leiter.

Leiter becomes the fourth player from the Yankees on the 30-man roster, joining shortstop Derek Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and center fielder Johnny Damon.

Two other Nationals are on the team: closer Chad Cordero and catcher Brian Schneider.

The roster for the first round, initially announced Feb. 14, has to be finalized by noon ET Wednesday.

Wagner, who signed a $43 million, four-year contract with the Mets during the offseason, said he needed more time to get his arm in shape.

"I just didn't feel like I was ready yet," the left-hander said in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "I want to do what's right for me and my country, and I'm not a very good pitcher in March. I didn't want to hurt the [WBC] team."

"Although I would love to pitch in the inaugural World Baseball Classic and am proud to represent my country, I will not be ready to pitch in a competitive-game environment when play begins on March 7," Sabathia said in a statement released by the Indians.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press