(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)


The Nationals’ pitchers and catchers gathered for a team meeting this morning before their first organized workout of the spring, but one prominent member of the staff remained conspicuously absent.

Free agent closer Rafael Soriano has not been spotted around Nationals camp, even though the official report day came Tuesday and pitchers and catchers took physicals Wednesday. He was not in the clubhouse this morning, shortly before pitchers and catchers were scheduled to take the field. The team-issued contents of his locker, it seemed, remained untouched.

Team officials have given no explanation of Soriano’s absence. The team has not even acknowledged whether or not Soriano, 33, ever reported. General Manager Mike Rizzo did not return an e-mail inquiry Wednesday about Soriano’s whereabouts.

The Nationals in January signed Soriano to a two-year, $28 million contract, with half of his salary deferred until later years.

More information when available.