As Nationals pitchers and catchers take the field for their first official workout of the spring, one significant name is missing: Rafael Soriano.
It appears the recently signed, veteran closer has not yet reported to camp, though team officials haven't said whether he's arrived in Viera or remains in his native Dominican Republic. His locker inside Space Coast Stadium remains untouched.
Soriano, as a Dominican citizen, is required to obtain a work visa before reporting for spring training. It's common for Latin American players' arrival to be delayed because of via issues, though it's unclear whether that is the holdup for Soriano.
The Nationals signed the 33-year-old reliever to a two-year, $28 million contract -- though half of his salary is deferred -- in late-January, a surprising move considering they already had two other right-handers with closing experience on the roster in Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard.
Manager Davey Johnson made it clear yesterday that Soriano will be his primary closer entering the season, with Storen and Clippard as backup options.
"He's obviously coming in going to be my closer," Johnson said. "But I have also a lot of confidence in some other guys who can be my closer, and that's a good problem to have."
Soriano not in Nats camp as workouts begin
CSN Washington | Feb 14