Wait, the Phillies are interested in Gio Gonzalez?

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From the “let’s remember that we hear all kinds of crazy things at the Winter Meetings and a lot of it is baloney” files, Ken Rosenthal says that the Phillies — the Phillies! — are among the many teams with an interest in trading for Gio Gonzalez.

Because obviously the Phillies (a) need the pitching; and (b) have tons of prospects to deal. Yup.

The apparent reasoning for the interest:

The addition of Gonzalez would give the Phils the depth to trade left-hander Cole Hamels — give them or a ready-made replacement if Hamels leaves as a free agent after next season.

Setting aside the fact that all of the six old dudes hanging around the media room right now think this is the best joke of the morning, the fact is that you can only push off your “we must have a second elite lefty starter in the fold but paying for his contract extension is gonna really hurt” problems off so far.

Find a way to lock up Hamels, Ruben. You’ll be happier you did.

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.

Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.

Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.

The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.