More from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
The Yankees and Rangers are locked in a battle for left-hander Cliff Lee, this offseason’s top free agent. And it sounds like the Yanks may strike first with an offer.
Cafardo reports that Brian Cashman and Co. are preparing a proposal worth around $115 million-$120 million over five years. The Rangers plan to match that and the numbers will go up from there. Cafardo says that the Nationals are also in the hunt and have been “aggressive” thus far, but this feels like a two-team race.
Lee, 32, registered a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 28 starts for the AL Champion Rangers this year, fanning 185 batters while walking only 18. There was a report in mid-November that Lee dislikes the Texas heat. And then there was that issue with Yankees fans harassing Lee’s wife during the ALCS. Believe what you want, but we’re thinking he’s simply going to chase the most lucrative deal.
For reference, CC Sabathia landed a seven-year, $161 million deal from the Yanks two offseasons ago.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.