Olympic baseball qualifiers postponed with U.S. seeking one of last spots

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The last two Olympic baseball qualifying tournaments, where the U.S. hopes to earn its place in Tokyo, have been postponed due to the coronavirus.

The qualifier for North and South American teams, originally scheduled for March 22-26 in Arizona, has been postponed with new dates to be announced.

The U.S., ranked second in the world, is to compete with seven other nations for one Olympic spot. Its roster is expected to be made up of minor leaguers, including those on MLB 40-man rosters.

The final, global qualifying tournament, originally scheduled for April 1-5 in Chinese Taipei, was rescheduled last week for June 17-21. That tournament will include the second- and third-place finishers from the Americas qualifier, potentially giving the U.S. a last chance to get into the six-nation Tokyo Olympic field.

Last November, the U.S. lost to Mexico at its first Olympic qualifying opportunity, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.

Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea took the first four Olympic spots as baseball returns to the program for the first time since 2008. It is not on the Paris 2024 program but could be added back for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

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