Veteran pitcher Javier Vazquez will not pitch for his native Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, and the right-hander might not return to the Majors, according to reports.
Vazquez underwent right knee surgery to repair an injured meniscus over the offseason, and he informed El Nuevo Dia, a newspaper in San Juan, P.R., that discomfort in that knee will prevent him from participating in the Classic. Vazquez said he felt a twinge last week while twisting his knee during rehab.
The 36-year-old last pitched in the big leagues in 2011, when he compiled a 13-11 record and 3.69 ERA in 32 starts for the Marlins. An All-Star in 2004, he tallied 10 or more wins in each season from 2000-11. Vazquez has 165 career victories, while playing for the Expos, White Sox, Yankees, D-backs, Braves and Marlins.
Vazquez reportedly garnered some interest for the 2013 campaign from a handful of teams, including the Nationals. He told El Nuevo Dia, however, that a return to Major League Baseball in 2013 is not in the cards.
Puerto Rico still boasts a pitching staff with some Major League experience, with J.C. Romero, Nelson Figueroa and Fernando Cabrera on its roster.
Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel.