The Nationals scouted pitcher Javier Vazquez last month as he pitched in winter ball down in Puerto Rico, joining several teams with apparent interest in the 36 year old former All-Star. Given the amount of teams there and the Nats' already full rotation, it seemed an outside shot he would end up with the Nats. But according to a new report by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Nationals are actually very interested in Vazquez and have scouts that are "raving" about him.
Vazquez did not pitch in 2012 after spending 2011 with the Marlins, but he is apparently throwing fastballs in the low to mid-90's and looks ripe for a comeback. With that type of velocity he will surely get a contract, especially since he wasn't even that bad in 2011. Vazquez maintained a 3.69 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 2011 across 192 2/3 innings pitched.
If the Nationals signed Vazquez it would likely be as an insurance plan for Dan Haren, or a sixth starter of sorts. They would probably hope to have him start in Triple-A while Haren gets going in April. That said, if Vazquez is pitching as well as it sounds, he may have a shot at an Opening Day roster. The Nationals likely can't offer that opportunity, but if they are as impressed as USA Today reports, they could pull the trigger.