Mauer withdraws name from WBC

Mauer withdraws name from WBC

MINNEAPOLIS -- With only one full season under his belt and a feeling that he would be better prepared by going through all of Spring Training, Twins catcher Joe Mauer withdrew his name from the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday.

"It's a great honor to be considered for such a team, but I've decided to focus on getting ready for the season instead," Mauer said. "I feel good, but I think it's better not to rush my preparations since it's a long season."

Mauer informed Twins general manager Terry Ryan of his decision in a phone call on Wednesday.

"He was not comfortable in leaving camp to play," Ryan said. "He wanted to make sure that he would be fresh for an entire year."

Injuries were not a factor in his decision, Mauer said. Though the St. Paul native missed all but 35 games of his rookie campaign in 2004, he was able to make it through all of last season. Making sure that he was ready for another full season is the primary goal and Mauer's main reason for skipping the WBC, though it took some time and thought for him to make the decision.

"After talking to family, friends and teammates about it, I felt it was in my best interest to stay in camp," Mauer said.

One of six catchers on the provisional roster for Team USA, Mauer likely would have made the final cut of three to compete in the inaugural 16-team event. Ryan said that he knows it wasn't easy for Mauer to turn down the opportunity to compete for his country.

"Joe's the type of human being that he's worried about letting someone down," Ryan said. "But it was a personal decision that he had to make and do what was in the best interest for him."

Twins closer Joe Nathan was also selected to the provisional roster for the U.S. squad and is expected to compete if he makes the final cut.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.