Nationals rumors: Javier Vazquez still on radar

Jim McIsaac

The Nats are playing a game of wait and see with the veteran right-hander.

The Washington Nationals have not stepped up their pursuit of veteran right-hander Javier Vazquez in the last week or so, but they also haven't backed off their pursuit, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

[The Nats] are still waiting to see if Vazquez will come back after spending the 2012 season in retirement.

"We’ve always been in the monitoring stage," [GM Mike] Rizzo said. "If it’s the right fit for him and the right fit for us, we certainly would have interest because of the talent level he has.

"We haven’t got anywhere near [discussing a major or minor league deal]."

Vazquez, 36, sat out the 2012 season but impressed several teams earlier this month in Puerto Rican winter ball. Regularly hitting 92-95 mph with his fastball, the right-hander drew scouts from the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox in addition to the Nats.

While it was reported a few weeks ago that Washington had "heavy interest" in Vazquez, the fact that Rizzo states the club has only been in a "monitoring stage" with the right-hander seems to indicate their level of interest is a bit less than "heavy."

Vazquez is planning to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in March, and could make a decision on whether to return to professional baseball at that point.

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