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Javier Vasquez Rumors: Nationals still interested

Gio Gonzalez's ties to the PED scandal in Miami have kept the Washington Nationals interest level in Javier Vazquez high. They may need a pitcher like Vazquez if anything comes from MLB's investigation.

Christian Petersen

Javier Vazquez is set on returning to baseball. So much so that he has undergone minor knee surgery and plans to get back on a mound and pitch as soon as possible. He had retired after the 2011 season, but this offseason the game called him back, and he has been auditioning for teams ever since. One such team who has expressed interest is the Washington Nationals. They are still monitoring Vazquez's progress closely.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Gio Gonzalez's link to the PED scandal with Biogenesis may have caused the team to look a little harder at Vazquez. Cafardo did not elaborate, but presumably if the league finds enough to suspend players as a result of the scandal, the Nationals want to have someone they can fall back on. That could be Vazaquez.

Related: Other winter moves for the Nationals.

Vazquez was successful when he last pitched in the Majors. In 2011, he started 32 games and posted a 3.69 ERA for the Florida Marlins. Vazquez had a 2.89 ERA in 2009 which could help fuel interest in him as well. However, sandwiched between his two solid seasons was 2010. In that year, Vazquez went 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA in 26 starts.

The Nationals had one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball last season. They intend to replicate that in 2013 despite losing Edwin Jackson to the Chicago Cubs. With the emergence of Ross Detwiler, Gio Gonzalez's continued success, and an limit-free Stephen Strasburg, the team could be poised to do great things. Adding Vazquez could provide the depth they need to overcome the inevitable injuries they will likely face.