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Sonny Gray denied WBC insurance, won't pitch for Team USA

Sonny Gray won't pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic after the Oakland Athletics right-hander was denied insurance coverage for the tournament, general manager David Forst said Sunday.

Gray was placed on the disabled list in August with a strained right forearm and pitched only one inning after returning. Since he didn't pitch in more than 10 innings after August, Gray was an issue for the company that insures players for the event.

"As much as I'd like to participate and represent the A's and Team USA, it's just an unfortunate thing that came up and there's nothing we can really do except try to get ready to start the season," Gray said Sunday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Major League Baseball had pushed for an exception to be made for Gray, who is reported to be healthy this spring.

"It's not up to us or MLB, it's up to the insurance company," Forst told reporters. "MLB pushed the issue and asked the insurance carrier to let him pitch, and they didn't do it."

Forst told reporters that Gray "feels great" and is throwing in spring training.

Gray is the second player to be denied insurance to play in this year's World Baseball Classic.

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin was left off the Team Canada roster because he was denied coverage after having arthroscopic knee surgery in November.

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