Rafael Soriano got his visa, will report this weekend

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Bad news: the mocked-up milk carton of a missing Rafael Sorinao I made is no longer useful. Good news: it’s because he got his visa and is reporting to camp:

Nationals closer Rafael Soriano will not be absent for long. He was able to get his visa in the Dominican Republic on Friday and will report to Nats camp by Saturday, according to manager Davey Johnson. Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report this past Wednesday.

I was talking to a baseball reporter offline about visa things and the Dominican Republic the other day. I asked him why these guys just don’t file their paperwork earlier. The response was that early’s got nothing to do with it and that getting stuff like that done in the Dominican Republic is like dealing with Information Retrieval in “Brazil.” It’s a wonder that more guys don’t get held up, actually.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.

Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.