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Javier Vazquez Makes a Lot of Sense for the Red Sox

Vazquez last pitched in the majors in 2011.
Vazquez last pitched in the majors in 2011.Marc Serota/Getty Images
Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IJanuary 3, 2013

Back in November, MLB Networks' Peter Gammons tweeted that Javier Vazquez would use the World Baseball Classic to gauge whether he wanted to come back to the major leagues this year.  

Then, more recently, news came from ESPNDeportes' Ralph Pagan Archeval that Vazquez was thinking more seriously about a return to the majors this year.

MLB Trade Rumors' Zach Links has the translation in this piece.

Now comes word, first in this tweet from Victor Ramos and then confirmed by WEEI's Rob Bradford, that the Boston Red Sox will be in attendance and scouting Vazquez when he pitches Friday.  

Is Vazquez the ace that Boston needs? No. But he makes perfect sense for Sox in 2013.

In 2011 with the Florida Marlins, Vazquez pitched to a 13-11 record with a 3.69 ERA. The biggest stat coming with that 3.69 ERA is the 192.2 innings pitched.

Those innings would look awfully good in the Sox' rotation.

Adding another arm to the Red Sox rotation obviously can't hurt, especially when it comes in the form of a low-risk, high reward acquisition like Vazquez.

Vazquez has won 165 games at the major league level, with a career ERA of 4.22 and an average of 8.0/K per game. In nine of his 14 seasons, he has pitched more than 200 innings.

With Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Ryan Dempster at the head of the Sox' rotation, adding Vazquez to compete with John Lackey and Felix Doubront could aid Boston on numerous levels.

 

Adding depth, and quality depth at that, would allow the Sox to gradually ease Lackey back into the rotation, increase the level of competition for Doubront and allow their pitching prospects to get properly seasoned in the minors.

There should be no reservation from the Sox when it comes to Vazquez. He's simply returning from a year away from pitching, not from any injury.

The other attraction with Vazquez is that it wouldn't cost the Sox anything.

No draft pick compensation. No quality prospects. Simply money and taking a chance on a pitcher with a good track record.

For a team that seems to covet next year's draft picks and the prospects in their minor league system, holding onto as many assets as possible is a smart move.

This year looks like a true bridge year for the Sox.

Javier Vazquez could go a long way towards bridging the gap to the next generation of Boston's pitching prospects.

Statistics used from Baseball Reference.

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