The Nationals are showing "heavy interest" in Javier Vazquez, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). He says scouts are raving about the right-hander, who is throwing 92-95 mph during winter ball in Puerto Rico.
Vazquez, 36, sat out the 2012 season after pitching to a 3.69 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 192 2/3 innings for the Marlins in 2011. The ACES client has been scouted by the Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies, Royals, Rays, and Mets in recent weeks, but he remains undecided about a return next season. Vazquez has favored East Coast teams throughout his career.
The Nationals already have a stacked rotation featuring Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, and Ross Detwiler. They do lack a left-handed reliever though, so Detwiler could shift to the bullpen with Vazquez taking his spot in the rotation.