When the Miami Marlins decided to acquire Carlos Zambrano to be the baking soda to Ozzie Guillen's vinegar, there was a hidden meaning that had to do with one of their own free agents. From Jerry Crasnick:
If there's any doubt, the #Marlins were absolutely, positively convinced Javy Vazquez is retiring before making Zambrano trade.
Something clicked in the second half, though, and his velocity returned to where it was in 2009, when he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young balloting. Where it was once a lock that he was going to retire, the Marlins were hoping he'd consider coming back for one more year in Miami.
According to Crasnick, though, the Marlins were convinced that wasn't a possibility, and they subsequently traded for Zambrano. While Vazquez ended last season with a run of success, he's much less likely to get in a katana fight with Ozzie Guillen, so the Marlins have certainly upgraded in at least one respect.
Vazquez has pitched for 14 seasons, with a career ERA of 4.22 -- at least a half-run higher than you probably figured, unless you're a Yankees fan. As a fourth- or fifth-starter candidate, he was probably one of the better options on the market, and while nothing is official just yet, it looks like he's going to go wherever old changeup artists go when they retire -- possibly the basement of Jamie Moyer, where his life essence will be extracted to keep Moyer strong.