The Nationals had scouts in Puerto Rico on Friday night to watch pitcher Javier Vazquez as the former All-Star is making an attempt to come back to the majors. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says the Rays, Red Sox, and Royals were also in attendance and that his fastball was touching 93 miles per hour.
The Nationals already have their rotation set one through five, more so than the other teams with interest. Because of that, if Vasquez wants a major league deal that may eliminate them from signing him. They could use pitching depth beyond their rotation, likely to stash at Triple-A Syracuse, but it sounds like he may get something substantial from a team in more need of starting pitching.
Vazquez would come in as a sixth starter of sorts behind Dan Haren who was signed to a one-year deal in early December. Maybe they want a back-up plan because of Haren’s injury concerns, but he did pass a physical and everything indicates he will be fine for spring training.
Vazquez is 36 and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011. That season he held a 3.69 ERA and won 13 games with the Marlins. He has a career ERA of 4.22 in 14 major league seasons, spending time with the Expos, Yankees (twice), Diamondbacks, White Sox, and Braves. Vazquez actually began his career with the Expos and pitched his first six seasons in the organization.