Tanaka has finally received his working visa and as Dan Martin of the New York Post has reported, is set to leave his native land of Japan on Sunday night and come to New York sometime next week with hopes of him being ready to go for spring training.
"The Japanese right-hander, signed to a seven-year, $155 million contract by the Yankees last month, received a work visa Tuesday and is expected to leave for spring training Sunday, according to reports from Japan. The Yankees had hoped the 25-year-old would arrive before pitchers and catchers are due to report in Tampa on Feb. 14 so he has a full spring training to prepare for his first season in the majors. They have yet to decide when and where Tanaka will be formally introduced."
The 25-year-old right-hander signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the Yankees last month and was considered to be the prize of the free agent market and many felt the Chicago Cubs would be major competitors for Tanaka and could outbid everyone, but they couldn't outbid the Yankees, who needed him more than the rest of the teams involved.
Tanaka was the latest addition to a Yankee team that has spent over $470 million in free agent acquisitions such as Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian Roberts and Tanaka was the icing on the cake for the Bronx Bombers, whose presence will help a pitching staff has a lot of question marks surrounding it.
The press conference to formally introduce Tanaka to the media and public has yet to be determined, but once Tanaka is in the United States, the Yankees can plan to have that introductory press conference; one which will likely have a ton of media from both the U.S. and Japan attending it.
The Yankees also had announced that Tanaka will wear the number 19 when he plays for the team in 2014; Tanaka's number that he wore in Japan, 18, is currently being worn by native countrymen and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
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