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Thursday, February 6, 2014
Masahiro Tanaka set to head to U.S.

Associated Press

TOKYO -- Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has obtained a work visa and could depart for the United States as early as Sunday.

Tanaka, who signed a $155 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees last month, obtained his visa Tuesday and is preparing to leave for spring training, which starts Feb. 15, a member of Tanaka's support staff said Thursday.

Tanaka, who has been working out in Sendai, said he is in better shape at this point compared to years past.

The 25-year-old right-hander replaces the retired Andy Pettitte in the rotation and joins CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova.