Javier Vazquez is pitching for Puerto Rico’s Ponce Lions this winter and is planning to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in March. Peter Gammons of MLB Network reported in November that Vazquez would gauge things during the WBC and see if he wants to make a comeback, but comments made to Ralph Pagan Archeval of ESPNDeportes.com indicate that he is heavily leaning towards a return.
“Winning the World Series, quite simply, is the only thing (I’m interested in). It’s a team award, since I’m not interested in individual awards. In truth, what I’m missing is a World Series victory…If I decide (to play), it doesn’t matter for what team, as long as they have a good possibility to get to the championship. I’m not going to sign with a team knowing that I’m going to lose,” said Vazquez (translation courtesy of Nick Collias).
Vazquez was ranked as No. 19 in the 2012 free agent class by Tim Dierkes last winter and fielded phone calls from a number of clubs. The right-hander stopped short of announcing his retirement, leaving the door open for a comeback at some point. Vazquez, now 36, showed in 2011 that he still has a lot left to offer as he pitched to a 3.69 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 32 starts for the Marlins. The veteran may prefer to spend 2013 with his family, but if he does, it won’t be because of his health.
“My [physical] condition is very good. The most important thing is to keep count of the pitches and get that as high as I can. I’ve felt very good; better than I thought I was going to feel. I’ll continue pitching and see what happens.“