The Washington Nationals are showing "heavy interest" in Javier Vazquez, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The veteran right-hander is said to be drawing rave reviews from scouts after throwing 92-95 mph in Puerto Rico.
Vazquez, 36, was scouted earlier in the week by the Nationals, Red Sox and White Sox. He sat out the 2012 season after going 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA in 192⅔ innings in 2011 with the Marlins. For his career, Vazquez is 165-160 with a 4.22 ERA and 2,536 strikeouts over 14 seasons.
The Nationals are seeking additional depth in their rotation which already includes Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler. The Nationals could use Detwiler out of the bullpen if they sign Vazquez.
It is still not known if Vazquez wants to return, but he will pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. With the way he is throwing and all of the attention surrounding him, it is a good bet that Vazquez will end up pitching somewhere in 2013.