What would a hypothetical U.S. baseball Dream Team look like for 2020 Olympics?

With the news Wednesday that baseball might once again be an official Olympic sport for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, we thought it might be fun to look at what a potential Team USA might look like if major leaguers suited up.That’ll never happen, of course — isn’t going to suspend the season for the Olympics — but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun playing a game of “What if?" while looking at players who were born in the USA. We're going with almost the same roster setup as the last time the Olympics had baseball, in 2008. Instead of 12 pitchers and 12 hitters on the 24-man roster, we're going with 11 pitchers and 13 hitters, just because we can.  MORE: The greatest No. 1 draft picks in historyIn this hypothetical, everybody says yes and everybody’s healthy. If we can dream, we're gonna dream big. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/3f/57/anthony-rizzo-041816-getty-ftrjpg_1i7un6v2nc0jd1uj57l0ikwg0j.jpg?t=746904188&w=500&quality=80 1B Anthony RizzoAge when 2020 Olympics start: 30Why he’s here: Rizzo’s a couple years younger than Paul Goldschmidt or Chris Davis and has a little more power than Eric Hosmer of Freddie Freeman (they were both born in 1989, like Rizzo). Lots of qualified candidates, obviously, but with the way the roster would have to be constructed, only the starter would make the team. 2B Jason Kipnis Age when 2020 Olympics start: 33Why he’s here: At this point, the choice would probably come down to Kipnis or Colorado’s DJ LeMahieu. We lean Kipnis at the moment (though we’d reserve the right to change our minds a million times between now and 2020). SS Corey Seager Age when 2020 Olympics start: 26Why he’s here: If Seager continues his career trajectory, he’ll be an absolute superstar by the time these Olympic Games roll around. Relatively speaking, he’s an easy choice for this spot. MORE: 31 greatest U.S. Olympic athletes 3B Nolan Arenado Age when 2020 Olympics start: 29Why he’s here: What would have been a brutal choice between Arenado and Manny Machado is made easier by Machado’s announcement that he’s playing for the Dominican Republic in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, so for these hypothetical purposes we’ll assume he does the same with the Olympics.  C Buster PoseyAge when 2020 Olympics start: 33Why he’s here: By the time the 2020 season rolls around, Posey will likely be playing a lot of first base for the Giants, but for our purposes, there aren’t a ton of star catchers born in the USA, so Posey easily gets the starting nod.  (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/56/81/mookie-betts-122115-getty-ftrjpg_a5xwxb6bcnu91micsqa51x4ta.jpg?t=-956062743&w=500&quality=80 LF Mookie BettsAge when 2020 Olympics start: 27Why he’s here: How many All-Star nods will Betts have by the 2020 season? At least three, probably four. Either way, he’s already a star and could be cementing his place in Red Sox history by the time the Olympics roll around. CF Mike TroutAge when 2020 Olympics start: 28Why he’s here: This is an easy choice, obviously. MORE: The greatest brawls in baseball historyRF Bryce Harper Age when 2020 Olympics start: 27Why he’s here: This is an easy choice, obviously.DH Giancarlo StantonAge when 2020 Olympics start: 31Why he’s here: Because it would be fun to watch Stanton take aim at the top of Mount Fuji with his epic home runs during th

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e Olympics, wouldn’t it? Bench J.T. Realmuto, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Byron BuxtonWhy they’re here: These won’t be the four best remaining players in baseball when 2020 rolls around, but they all serve a purpose. Realmuto (29 when the Olympics start) is Posey’s backup behind the plate. Russell (26) can play either middle infield position. Bryant (28) can play third or a corner outfield spot, and be an absolutely terrifying pinch hitter. And by 2020, Buxton’s early struggles in the majors will be a distant memory, which makes him a perfect safety outfielder. Staff ace: Clayton Kershaw Age when 2020 Olympics start: 32Why he’s here: If he’s healthy, he’s the ace of the Olympic rotation. Zero questions about that. Other starters: Noah Syndergaard, Alex Reyes, Taijuan Walker, Madison BumgarnerWhy they’re here: Bumgarner has a 0.25 ERA in 36 career World Series innings, so, yeah, he absolutely makes the rotation (he turns 31 during the Olympics, actually). Syndergaard (27) might be throwing 110-mph fastballs by then, so he’s in. Walker (27) requires a bit of projection, but he’s shown the ability to dominate in the majors. Reyes (25) requires a lot of projection, but the Cardinals’ top prospect has averaged 12.0 strikeouts as a starter in the minors, so why not?  (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/b3/3e/mlb-uniforms-dellin-betances-011616-getty-ftrjpg_zuo1ogdhrp6s11n58ykzoihsj.jpg?t=1022316746&w=500&quality=80 Closer: Dellin BetancesAge when 2020 Olympics start: 32Why he’s here: Even if he’s not the Yankees closer by then, the New York native can have the role of closer for this team. You’d feel pretty good with him closing out games for Team USA. Other relievers Kevin Siegrist, Chris Archer, Chris Sale, Aaron Nola, David PriceWhy they’re here: Siegrist (31) is the left-handed specialist. Archer (31) and Nola (27) are the long men (how ridiculous is that?), and Sale (31) and Price (34) are the designated high-leverage veterans who come in whenever they’re needed to snuff out an opponent's rally.

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