According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Javier Vazquez is interested in pitching for a team on the East Coast, including the Nationals.
Vazquez, 34, would prefer to play for a team on the East Coast because he wants to be closer in proximity to his family in Puerto Rico. The veteran right-hander had a limited no-trade clause in his most recent contract, blocking deals to AL West and NL West teams.
Vazquez suffered through the worst season of his career in 2010, posting a 5.32 ERA in 31 games (26 starts) with the Yankees while averaging just 6.92 K/9 and a career-high 3.72 BB/9. The velocity on his fastball checked in at a career-low 88.7 mph and he complained of a dead arm during the season.
He won’t come anywhere close to the $11.5 million salary he earned in each of the last three seasons, but assuming he’s actually healthy, Vazquez could make sense for any number of teams as a bounceback candidate, especially if he returns to the National League. We know that the Nationals intend to go out and add starting pitching this winter, so assuming they’ll be unsuccessful in their efforts to sign a big-ticket item like Cliff Lee or even a second-tier starter like Jorge De La Rosa, Vazquez would be a pretty good fit.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.