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Nationals to meet with Brandon Webb at Winter Meetings

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The Cubs aren’t the only team with heavy interest in veteran right-hander Brandon Webb.

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, the Nationals plan to meet with Webb’s representatives at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in early December.

Webb hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the first week of the 2009 season because of chronic shoulder problems and did not show good velocity in a couple of throwing sessions this fall.

But he should come cheap, and that’s attractive to clubs in a weathered economy.

Webb, 31, registered a 3.30 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 34 starts in 2008 — his last full season.  He won the National League Cy Young Award back in 2006 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 178 strikeouts in 235 innings.  The Nats, Cubs and the other interested teams are hoping that he has some of that magic left.

Miguel Cabrera, Dee Gordon win AL and NL batting titles, respectively

Miguel Cabrera
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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.

Report: Angels to announce Billy Eppler as new GM on Monday

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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.