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.