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Yankees reach minor-league deal with Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez throws during the first inning of

Gio Gonzalez throws during the first inning of Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles.  Credit: AP/Hasrry How

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Perhaps Brian Cashman wasn’t quite as comfortable with his internal rotation options as he initially said he was.

Or maybe with Luis Severino and CC Sabathia set to start the season on the injured list, the Yankees’ general manager simply took an opportunity that was too good to pass up.

The Yankees added lefthander Gio Gonzalez, 33, on a minor-league deal Monday night. As they were putting the finishing touches on a 7-4 victory over the Braves at Champion Stadium, Cashman confirmed that a “verbal” agreement has been reached with Gonzalez.

He will earn a base salary of $3 million if he’s on the team, can earn more from incentives and has an out in the contract if he’s not on the big-league roster by April 20.

Though he’s been throwing regularly in Miami, where he lives, Gonzalez likely will not be close to being major league-ready when the Yankees break camp Sunday night.

“Whenever we get him into camp, then we’ll turn it over to our pitching personnel and then take a look, see what we’ve got,” Cashman said.

The Yankees still believe in the potential of the three young pitchers vying for the two open rotation spots — Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa and Domingo German — and because of that and the time crunch with getting Gonzalez ready, two of those three still are all but certain to open the season in the rotation.

But as Cashman and just about everyone else in the game says when it comes to pitching: “You never have enough.”

Gonzalez, in whom the Yankees have had an interest in the past, went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA in 32 starts with the Nationals and Brewers last season. He made five starts with Milwaukee.

Gonzalez is 127-97 with a 3.69 ERA in 11 seasons, seven of those with the Nationals (2012-18).

“Obviously a viable major-league starter for a long time,” Cashman said.

The Yankees came into spring training relatively content with their starting depth but had that tested quickly. Sabathia has been brought along slowly in camp because of an offseason procedure on his right knee and Severino was sidelined by rotator cuff inflammation March 5.

Severino, who on Monday said he’ll play catch Wednesday, likely won’t be back until May at the earliest, according to Cashman.

“I think right now, especially being a couple of guys down, to have a guy like [Gonzalez] still available, a luxury to be able to add him just for depth,” Aaron Boone said. “Excited to have him.”

Notes & quotes: Luke Voit hit his fourth homer and Aaron Judge had a two-run triple and scored on a single by Austin Romine (three hits) in the Yankees' win over the Braves. Masahiro Tanaka allowed one run and struck out seven in five innings.

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