Major League Baseball is ready to consider releasing major league players if it will help restore baseball to the Olympic calendar.
Baseball and softball will be played at the Beijing Olympics next month but the International Olympic Committee has voted to remove both sports from the Olympic calendar from 2012 onwards.
Among the reasons for the decision has been MLB's consistent refusal to alter its calendar in order to create a window for major league players to compete.
However, MLB vice-president Bob Watson, who also serves as the general manager of the American national team, revealed as part of the American squad announcement on Wednesday that talks are ongoing between MLB, the IOC and International Baseball Federation.
'I believe they are trying to work up something, you have a few years to get a plan. There are a lot of moving parts but don't rule it out,' Watson said in a conference call.
MLB is still not ready to consider shutting its season down for an extended period, but is studying an idea to schedule an extended All-Star break that would allow a short Olympic tournament to be scheduled.