Gio Gonzalez isn’t shying away from the spotlight after being linked to a Miami-area anti-aging clinic accused of dealing performance-enhancing drugs.
USA Baseball has announced that Gonzalez, a Hialeah, Fla., native, has accepted an invitation to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
The Nationals now have three players on their 40-man roster who are on the provisional roster for teams competing in the WBC; second baseman Danny Espinosa is set to play for Team Mexico and outfielder Roger Bernadina will be a part of the Dutch team.
Gonzalez finished third in the National League Cy Young voting in 2012, going 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
He joins Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who beat Gonzalez out for the NL Cy Young award, in Team USA’s starting rotation.
Gonzalez’s spring will certainly be an eventful one. He’ll surely be peppered with questions (or, at the very least, interview requests from inquisitive reporters) about his involvement with Biogenesis, the anti-aging clinic that has drawn the eyes of the baseball world for its alleged dealing of testosterone, HGH and other performance-enhancers.
It’s a topic that might serve as a distraction for Gonzalez until Major League Baseball has completed its investigation into the dealings of the Nationals left-hander, among other big-name players.
In addition to all that, Gonzalez will now be competing in a tournament that will be watched by baseball fans worldwide.
His participation could give him positive publicity during what’s been a rough PR stretch, however.