PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- At the end of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, right fielder Bryce Harper doubled down on his campaign for the Phillies to re-sign catcher J.T. Realmuto. Heto the team's front office.
"Realmuto needs to be our catcher next year. Plain and simple," Harper said on Sept. 28, 2020. "He's the best catcher in baseball."
The Phillies eventually re-signed Realmuto to a five-year, $115.5 million contract after the catcher hit free agency.
Two years later, Harper and Realmuto are signing up again to be teammates on the international level.
Harper on Friday committed to play for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic three days after Realmuto did the same.
Harper and Realmuto join Angels center fielder Mike Trout, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Nolan Arendao and Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story on the Team USA roster so far.
Pool play for the 2023 World Baseball Classic will begin on March 8 in four host cities: Phoenix, Miami, Tokyo and Taichung, Taiwan.
The championship game is scheduled for March 21, 2023, at LoanDepot Park in Miami.
The U.S. will join Canada, Mexico, Colombia and another team in Pool C. The fifth team will be determined this fall in qualifiers.
The 2023 WBC was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Team USA won the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
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