Active MLB players are not participating in baseball’s Olympic return in Tokyo, but past MLB All-Stars will nonetheless be on five of the six teams.
The last rosters were announced this week, including five-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez headlining the Mexican team and six-time All-Star slugger Jose Bautista and 2012 All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera named by the Dominican Republic.
Previously, Israel announced its roster with four-time All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler. The Japanese named two-time All-Star starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The U.S. included four All-Stars — infielder Todd Frazier and pitchers Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir and David Robertson.
South Korea, the defending Olympic champion from 2008, is the lone team without a past All-Star on its 24-man roster. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was named to a preliminary roster in March but did not make the final team.
In baseball’s previous iteration as a medal sport from 1992-2008, two Olympians had prior MLB All-Star experience — Australian catcher Dave Nilsson and Canadian pitcher Jason Dickson.
Many players competed at the Olympics before making an MLB All-Star team, including Stephen Strasburg and Jason Giambi.
Active MLB players have never participated in the Olympics during the middle of their seasons, so U.S. teams previously were minor leaguers or college players.
With baseball in the Olympics for the first time in 13 years, and for the last time until at least 2028, aging stars who are no longer on big-league clubs expressed interest.
Baseball was re-added for the Tokyo Games but is not on the regular Olympic program. It will not be contested at the 2024 Paris Games but could be added for Los Angeles in 2028.
Olympic baseball rosters:
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