Tatis May Replace A-Rod in World Baseball Classic

The Yankees aren't the only team that's going to suffer in the wake of Alex Rodriguez's hip injury and likely surgery. The Dominican Republic is also going to miss everything that A-Rod can do for a baseball team, and they're moving quickly to try and fill the void on their roster. David Lennon of Newsday reports that they've already asked Mets outfielder Fernando Tatis to join the team.

[Domincan Republic G.M. Stan] Javier visited Tradition Field this morning to recruit Tatis, who is in today's lineup against Italy, and the Mets' super-sub seems torn by the invitation. The Mets apparently won't stand in his way. GM Omar Minaya spoke to Tatis, as did Jerry Manuel, but the decision is up to Tatis, who will make the call later today.

"I would like to play for my country," Tatis said, "but this is coming at the last moment. I have to talk to my family."

Tatis isn't a third baseman anymore, but the Domincans already have Willy Aybar and Adrian Beltre on the roster so they should be fine on that front. A bigger issue could (and should) be the fact that Tatis has struggled with a hand injury in the first weeks of Spring Training. If A-Rod's story has taught us anything, it's that teams and players should err on the side of caution when it comes to making sure they've got a clean bill of health.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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