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.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.