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Rafael Soriano should be in Nationals camp 'soon,' agent says

February 14, 2013|By Chuck Schilken

Rafael Soriano was a notable absence when pitchers and catchers reported for the Washington Nationals earlier this week.

The closer who signed a two-year, $28-million deal with the team during the off-season was nowhere to be found during the team meeting prior to the first official workout Thursday morning either.

The Nationals have yet to address the situation and they might not have to. Fox Sports reporter Jon Morosi tweeted Thursday morning that Soriano's agent, Scott Boras, says the pitcher should be in camp "soon" once a visa issue is sorted out.

The Washington Post is quoting an unnamed source close to Soriano in saying that the pitcher hopes to report by the end of the week. According to the Post, Soriano received a five-year visa when he signed with the Yankees prior to the 2011 season, but the transfer of that paperwork to his new team is holding up the process.

Soriano, who was born in the Dominican Republic, had the best season of his 11-year career in 2010, when he had 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays. He came through in a big way for the Yankees last season, notching 42 saves with a 2.26 ERA as the replacement for injured closer Mariano Rivera.

Not wanting to become a setup man upon Rivera's return this year, Soriano opted out of his contract with the Yankees and joined an already-strong Nationals bullpen in January.

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