Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray on Monday accepted an invitation to pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Gray confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle via text that he will be will part of the U.S. National Team for the WBC, to be held in March.
"It's a great start to the new year," Athletics manager Bob Melvin texted the newspaper. "First off, it's a great honor. The best players get these invitations. I think this will add to his focus this year and, at the end of the day, playing for your country is really cool."
The 27-year-old Gray was extended an invitation despite a rocky 2016 season. After winning 14 games in each of the previous two seasons, Gray stumbled to a 5-11 mark with a 5.69 ERA during an injury-plagued campaign.
Gray owns a 38-31 record and 3.42 ERA in four seasons with Oakland. A first-round draft pick (No. 18 overall) of the Athletics in 2011, Gray made a combined 64 starts in 2014 and 2015, recording a career-low 2.73 ERA while going 14-7 in 2015.