Lee, Ramirez won't play in Classic
Both Cubs players told they would be backups at their positions
MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and third baseman Aramis Ramirez both are skipping the World Baseball Classic.
Lee played in the first event in 2006 and was on Team USA's provisional roster but said he was told he wasn't really needed because Boston's Kevin Youkilis will get most of the playing time at first.
"I wanted to do it, I really wanted to do it, but they told me basically I wasn't going to play," Lee said Tuesday. "I'd just be there if he got hurt."
Ramirez was to be on the Dominican Republic team but was told he'd be a backup to Alex Rodriguez.
"I like my routine," Ramirez said. "They already have a pretty good third baseman. I don't think they're going to need me."
The rosters will be announced on Feb. 24. The Cubs have four players on the 40-man roster who are scheduled to participate in the World Baseball Classic: Kosuke Fukudome (Japan), Ted Lilly (U.S.), Geovany Soto (Puerto Rico) and Carlos Marmol (Dominican Republic).
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.