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Nationals closer Soriano resolves visa issue

The SportsXchange

New Washington Nationals closer Rafael Soriano has resolved his visa issue and is expected to report to spring training Saturday.

The 33-year-old Soriano signed a two-year, $28 million deal with Washington after saving 42 games in 46 chances with the New York Yankees last year. He had a 2.26 ERA and struck out 69 batters in 67 2/3 as the Yankees closer after Mariano Rivera tore his ACL and was lost for the season.

Soriano, who did not want to be Rivera's set-up man, opted out of the third year of his contract with the Yankees and signed with the Nationals where he will join a bullpen that includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard.

He has a career 2.78 ERA in 11 seasons.

The visa delay was related to Soriano changing employers.

"I'm not really worried about him, because he's a veteran pitcher," Nationals manager Davey Johnson told "He knows what he needs to do to get ready. I've been used to dealing with that kinda stuff -- visa problems. ... 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."

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