OTTAWA — Reliever John Axford withdrew from Canada's World Baseball Classic team on Sunday due to personal and professional reasons.
Axford, from Port Dover, Ont., had a 6-4 record with three saves, a 3.97 earned-run average and 60 strikeouts for the Oakland Athletics last season.
He has a 34-32 record with 144 saves over eight major league seasons. He has a career ERA of 3.58 with 514 strikeouts.
Right-handed pitcher Jesen Therrien, from Montreal, will take Axford's spot on Canada's roster.
Therrien, 23, is a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization and spent the 2016 season between double-A Reading and high-A Clearwater.
He represented Canada at the 2010 under-18 Baseball World Cup and in 2011 at the U18 Pan Am Championships where Canada won a silver medal.