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Wire Taps: Gio Gonzalez to Yankees; Joe Ross starts; Patrick Corbin & first inning problems

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of today’s Grapefruit League game with the Braves...

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MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

With just nine days until Opening Day, it sure seems like Craig Kimbrel won’t be wearing a Nationals uniform come April. Now, if Kimbrel were a Boras client, this would be a different story...

Here’s the scoop from South Florida:

Yankees agree to deal with LHP Gio Gonzalez (ESPN)
Gonzalez will start in the minors — which really means Spring Training — and if he doesn't crack a big-league roster by April 20th, he's allowed to opt out. At $3 million, it's a severe pay cut for a $12 million dollar man last year.

Corbin shakes off first-inning struggles (MASN)
Patrick Corbin has allowed twelve runs this spring over eighteen innings, which, uh, isn't inspiring. But seven of them have come in the first inning — and he's not too worried about it.

Nationals make another round of spring training cuts, shave roster to 40 players (WaPo)
Austin Voth, Kyle McGowin, Tanner Rainey, and Jimmy Cordero will all start the season in California. The roster is now down to forty players, with just fifteen cuts to go.

Relievers J.J. Hoover, Jimmy Cordero among today's roster cuts (MASN)
"Hoover, Cordero and Rainey all entered camp with a chance to make an impression and earn a spot in the bullpen but have now all been eliminated from the competition. Hoover, in particular, was praised by manager Davey Martinez early in camp but was cut today after posting a 4.76 ERA in seven appearances."

Inbox: Nationals’ OF options after Taylor injury (MLB.com)
Michael A. Taylor is taking small but positive steps towards returning, and it looks like Andrew Stevenson will crack the Opening Day roster in his place. Also, the team doesn't really have a long-man in the bullpen — and don't expect a Carter Kieboom call-up any time soon.

Joe Ross gets first spring start for Nationals (MLB.com)
Joe gave up two runs on four hits over three innings, and Davey Martinez still thinks he's a starting pitcher. The main question at this point — with Erick Fedde pitching well and Jeremy Hellickson in the five slot, is there any room for Ross whatsoever?

Ross sharp in his longest outing of spring as Nats win over Mets 6-5 (MASN)
“Yeah, I definitely felt good,” Ross said. “(It was) the longest I’ve thrown innings-wise and pitch count so far in spring. It’s good to get some innings in and face some good batters in the lineup, obviously. It’s good to be back there in the starting role, for sure.”

Bowden: What we learned about the state of free agency this offseason, and how we can fix it (The Athletic)
"The Yankees and Dodgers have [Aroldis] Chapman and [Kenley] Jansen, respectively. The Nationals and Red Sox don’t want to go over the luxury tax threshold for the third consecutive time, not wanting to draft picks or to pay what would be a huge tax on Kimbrel’s salary."