Keeping in mind D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's admonition about how the Washington Nationals, "'... like to keep (off-season) things under wraps,'" as the Nats' general manager told Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell, as quoted in a chat with readers earlier this winter, and acknowledging that the 52-year-old executive said clearly that, "'When you hear our name linked with a player, you know those are the things that are NOT going to happen,'" there has been persistent chatter about the defending NL East champs adding starting pitching depth all winter, even after the Nats signed Dan Haren to a 1-year/$13M dollar deal.

"We feel very comfortable and confident with the five current rotation guys that we've got," Rizzo told reporters after the deal with Haren was announced, "And the current guys that we feel that could be that sixth, seventh or eighth major league starters if need be, but again, with that said, we're always on the lookout to [improve] our ballclub."

The Nationals have been linked directly to some of the pitchers still out there. The Nats sent scouts to watch 36-year-old, 14-year-veteran Javier Vazquez, who last pitched in the majors in 2011. Vazquez pitched in the Puerto Rican winter league and the Nats' GM made a trip to see Vazquez with his own eyes. The right-hander had minor knee surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee, but he's expected to pitch in the World Baseball Classic at which point he said he would make a decision about a return the majors after taking 2012 off.