The Long Shots
Team USA frequently features names you might not expect on its roster, particularly in the bullpen. While it is difficult to project who the Nationals' impact relievers will be in 2026 and beyond, it is not a huge stretch to believe an impact reliever from the organization could find his way onto the Team USA roster. With the volatility of relievers in today's game, your guess is as good as any when it comes to who exactly that reliever would be, if any at all.
It is also worth mentioning Cade Cavalli, the other high powered, hard throwing pitcher the Nationals' boast in their rotation of the future. The reason I did not include Cavalli in the first round of candidates is because of his impending Tommy John surgery. This isn't to say the injury will impact or derail his future, as Tommy John surgery has become increasingly common over the years, but the Nationals are the same organization that shut down Stephen Strasburg in 2012 in the midst of an NL East title and playoff run. If Cavalli does not pitch again until late in the 2024 season or even the 2025 season, I don't see the Nationals giving Cavalli the go ahead to pitch in the 2026 World Baseball Classic.
The other notable long shots are very long shots. James Wood and Elijah Green boast elite talent that could very well be a part of a Team USA World Baseball Classic roster one day. 2026 seems a bit early for them, as we don't even know when either player will make their debut for the Nationals, but if Bobby Witt Jr. can make the stacked Team USA roster after just his rookie season, an impressive 2025 rookie season for either Wood or Green could have them in contention for a 2026 Team USA roster spot.