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Gonzalez, Buehrle meet in Miami - 7:10 p.m.

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Gonzalez, Buehrle meet in Miami - 7:10 p.m.

GO TO THE LIVE GAME THREAD AT NATSINSIDER.COM RIGHT HERE

MIAMI -- Mike Rizzo sat in his suite at the Winter Meetings on Dec. 7 and expressed optimism the Nationals were going to sign Mark Buehrle to a three-year contract. The free agent left-hander and the Nats met in person and Rizzo believed "there was a connection there."

Within the hour, Buehrle signed a four-year, 58 million contract with the Marlins, leaving Rizzo and the Nationals to acquire a starting pitcher from somewhere else. Turns out that pitcher came from Oakland. His name was Gio Gonzalez, and he cost the Nats four top prospects in a trade.

Seven months later, the Nationals have no complaints about how the situation resolved itself. And tonight, they'll send Gonzalez (an All-Star with a 12-3 record and 2.92 ERA) to the mound against none other than Buehrle (8-8 with a 3.25 ERA) in a juicy twist of fate.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check the Nats Insider live game thread...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS (50-34)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
LHP Gio Gonzalez

MARLINS (41-45)
SS Jose Reyes
2B Omar Infante
1B Carlos Lee
RF Justin Ruggiano
3B Hanley Ramirez
CF Emilio Bonifacio
LF Donovan Solano
C John Buck
LHP Mark Buehrle

UMPIRES
HP Eric Cooper, 1B Marty Foster, 2B D.J. Reyburn, 3B Jeff Kellogg (cc)

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE