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As many as 18 Chicago Cubs could participate in the World Baseball Classic coming up in early March. The rosters were released yesterday.

Marmol and Ramirez are both on the Dominican Republic roster for the first time, Fukudome will likely play for the defending champion Japanese team for the second time, and Lilly and first baseman Derrek Lee could be part of Team USA.

Geovany Soto is one of many talented catchers on the Puerto Rican roster….

Pitchers Carlos Zambrano, Angel Guzman and Jose Ascanio all were listed on Team Venezuela’s roster…

Team Canada placed Cubs ace Rich Harden on its provisional roster, and his countrymen are hoping he’ll play. Alfonso Soriano is on the Dominican team’s list, and Henry Blanco is on Venezuela’s provisional roster.

Alex Maestri will pitch for Team Italy for the second time. Maestri, 23, appeared in two games in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Ryan Searle, 19, born in Brisbane, Australia, is also scheduled to participate. The right-hander appeared in eight games last season in the Cubs’ Minor League system, and was 2-2 with a 1.05 ERA. cubs.com.

Other Cubs that could play include minor leaguers Hung-Wen Chen, Dwayne Kemp, Vince Perkins, and Chris Robinson.

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