Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne plan to pitch for Canada at WBC

Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne will represent Canada during the World Baseball Classic. (Getty Images)
Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne will represent Canada during the World Baseball Classic. (Getty Images)

The World Baseball Classic will be the stage for two notable comebacks.

As Sportsnet baseball columnist Shi Davidi reported on Saturday, former major league pitchers Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne are planning to come out of retirement to pitch for Canada when the tournament begins in March.

No, this isn’t a tweet from 2008 that’s just now showing up. This is actually happening. Dempster, who currently serves as an MLB Network analyst and Cubs front office assistant, and Gagne, who recorded a record 84 straight saves for the Dodgers between 2002 and 2004, will be suiting up to represent their home country.

The news was definitely unexpected, but it’s pretty cool if you’re into nostalgia. We have no idea how much they’ll be able to contribute, if at all, but Dempster at least sounded confident about facing capable hitters again.

All kidding aside, the 39-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2013. He’s probably best known for his time with the Chicago Cubs, where he won 74 games and notched 87 saves between 2004 and 2012. He also had an indirect role in the Cubs World Series victory in 2016 after being traded to Texas for Kyle Hendricks in 2012.

As for Gagne, his last big league pitch came in 2008. He’s since admitted to using PEDs during his career, while also alleging that 80 percent of his Dodger teammates did the same. He’s also served as a coach for Team France. Now 41, he’s apparently looking to author a different, more positive ending to his playing career.

The Dempster and Gagne news actually overshadowed another big piece of Team Canada news on Saturday.

Not only is Russell Martin in, it sounds like we’ll finally see him at shortstop.

As you might recall, this was a big topic ahead of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which Martin ultimately sat out. Now though, he’s all in.

With Freddie Freeman also committed to playing, Canada is shaping up to be a fun team to watch.

Now, if we can only get Larry Walker’s attention.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!