It seems that the Red Sox are still trying to improve their pitching, as they are scouting Javier Vazquez. Vazquez, who did not pitch in 2012, is looking to rejoin the MLB with a contender in 2013. In his 14 year career, the 36 year old right-hander has had plenty of success– winning 165 ballgames and posting a 4.22 ERA mostly in the National League. Vazquez has had two stints in the American League East, however, and failed on both occassions– both with the New York Yankees.
Apart from with New York, however, he’s been relatively successful in recent years even with his advanced age. In 2011, with the still Florida Marlins, he posted a 13-11 record with a 3.69 ERA, numbers one could expect from a reliable third starter. Two years before that, with Atlanta in 2009, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball when he went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning.
He almost certainly would not repeat that success in Boston after a year off from baseball and moving into the tough AL East. However, he’s been reported to be throwing in the low-90′s in recent workouts. Tomorrow, the Red Sox will attend one of these workouts to see if it’s worth a shot to give a low-risk-high-reward ticket to Vazquez.
Vazquez has stated that he’d only like to return if he is going to play for a contender. It remains to be seen if the Red Sox will contend in 2013, but it’s hard to see Vazquez improving the team tremendously. Although there’s a slim chance he could be a solid #4 or #5 starter, his chances are no higher than that of John Lackey and Felix Doubront– both of whom also have higher ceilings than Vazquez. Unless he’ll be coming on a very cheap, minor league deal, I’d stay away from committing to Vazquez.