JTA — Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis said he will play for Israel at the World Baseball Classic.
Youkilis told Israel Sports Radio Wednesday that he would play for Team Israel if he is healthy. This season, the three-time All Star is hitting .241 with 15 home runs and 47 runs batted in. He has been hampered by injuries for much of the past three seasons.
Israel is one of 16 countries invited to play in next month’s qualifying round, and the top four teams advance to the 2013 classic.
Youkilis also said there are other Jewish Major League Baseball players who want to play, the station said.
Diaspora Jews are eligible to play on behalf of Israel.
Former MLB player Brad Ausmus has signed on as coach and retired players Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler have agreed to assist as coaches and players for the Israeli team.