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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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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news. 

Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report. 

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:

"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."

"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT