VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals closer Rafael Soriano will not be absent for long. He was able to obtain his visa in the Dominican Republic on Friday morning and will likely report to Nats camp on Saturday, according to manager Davey Johnson. Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report this past Wednesday.
"The word I got was that they stamped his visa this morning. I don't know what the travel plans are, but I imagine that he will be here sometime tomorrow," Johnson said.
"I'm not really worried about him, because he's a veteran pitcher. He knows what he needs to do to get ready. I've been used to dealing with that kinda stuff -- visa problems. They've got good weather down there, I'm sure he's not just sitting around watching TV. I'm sure he'll come to camp in good shape. That's the least of my worries."
Soriano had one of his best seasons in 2012, posting a 2.26 ERA with 42 saves for the Yankees, taking over closer duties after Mariano Rivera tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in early May. Soriano opted out of his contract with New York after he learned that Rivera was going to come back for the 2013 season. Soriano did not want to be a setup man.
Soriano, who joins a bullpen that already includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, has a 2.78 career ERA in 11 seasons spent with the Mariners, Braves, Rays and Yankees. The Nats signed Soriano after their bullpen struggled during last year's National League Division Series against the Cardinals, allowing 16 earned runs in five games.
Storen, who finished the season as the closer, allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a 9-7 loss in the decisive Game 5.