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Phillips hints at playing for Team USA in Classic

Reds star enthusiastically tweets about conversation with club skipper Torre

Phillips hints at playing for Team USA in Classic
CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips gave an indication via Twitter on Thursday evening that he might be representing Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this spring.

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Joe Torre, the former Yankees manager, will be the skipper for the American squad in the Classic. Rosters have yet to be formally announced.

Team USA is scheduled to begin training together in Phoenix on March 4, and then participate in first-round play at Chase Field from March 7-10. It shouldn't be inconvenient for Phillips to join his teammates since the Reds hold Spring Training in nearby Goodyear, Ariz. But Phillips would likely be away from Cincinnati until Team USA is finished with tournament play.

A two-time National League All-Star and three-time NL Gold Glove Award winner, the 31-year-old Phillips batted .281 with 18 home runs and 77 RBIs in 2012 for the Reds.

This would be Phillips' first time playing in the World Baseball Classic if he is officially selected to be on the roster.

There is no word yet on other Reds who might participate. Joey Votto, who represented Team Canada four years ago, said last month he would only play for his country if his surgically repaired left knee was 100 percent by the time Spring Training opened.

Reds rotation ace Johnny Cueto and reliever Jose Arredondo played for the Dominican Republic and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo represented Korea when the Classic was last held in 2009. Pitcher Aroldis Chapman was on Cuba's roster in that tournament but has since defected.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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