Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tanaka obtains work visa, will be on time for camp

NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has obtained a work visa and could depart Japan for the United States as early as Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

Tanaka, 25, received his visa on Tuesday and is preparing to report on time to the Yankees' Spring Training camp in Tampa, Fla., with the rest of the club's pitchers and catchers.

The Yankees' report date for pitchers and catchers is Feb. 14, with their first workout scheduled for Feb. 15 at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Position players are scheduled to report on Feb. 19, and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 20.

Tanaka signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees on Jan. 22. He has been working out in Sendai, Japan, and told the AP, "I am in better shape at this point compared to previous years."

Last week, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer confirmed that his office helped expedite Tanaka's paperwork so that he would be able to report to Spring Training on time.

"My office works tirelessly to help constituents every single day, but it's not often you get a call from a constituent like the New York Yankees," Schumer told the New York Daily News.

Schumer told the newspaper that without assistance, the process of obtaining a "P-visa" could have taken a month. In the past, Schumer said that he also helped process an application for Jose Reyes when he was with the Mets.

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