The White Sox signed the right-hander to a $3 million deal for this season, but once again he is having visa issues, a frequent occurrence when he was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In fact, his off-the-field issues are believed to be a major contributor in the Dodgers’ decision to not tender the hard throwing reliever a contract this past offseason.
“It’s certainly not something that is in our control but it is something we hope is coming to a resolution in the coming days,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “I don’t have a specific timeframe, but I do know there’s been some progress and we’re hopeful in the coming week we’ll have resolution.”
Belisario is a native of Venezuela, as is outfielder Avisail Garcia, who arrived in camp ahead of the mandatory report date for position players. Hahn said Belisario is now going through the stages of acquiring his visa with more steps to go.
“It’s something that’s beyond our control,” Hahn said. “It’s not entirely unexpected with immigration, especially with a player that had issues with immigration in the past. We’ve got to keep in mind that we’re dealing with a relief pitcher who needs to get stretched out to one inning, maybe two, by the end of camp and there’s more than enough time for that.”
The White Sox have been told that Belisario has been throwing in Venezuela and won’t be starting from scratch when he gets to the desert.