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Rosenthal reports on the state of the Astros

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Ken Rosenthal has a good piece up this morning about the state-of-the-Astros. Specifically, where they stand on the ownership transfer. The short version: Jim Crane is on track for approval, but it may not come before the trade deadline at the end of the month. Which leads to an interesting discussion of how much say an owner-in-waiting like Crane has on team moves.  In his case, I just hope he’s yelling “sell!” through a megaphone and hoping to be heard.

Also of interest: contrary to what many suspected last month, Major League Baseball has not made Crane’s acceptance of a move of the Astros to the American League a condition of the team’s sale.  In fact, the subject has not been brought up, Rosenthal’s sources tell him.

It’s a good article about a topic — the sale and potential revitalization and transformation of an MLB franchise — that is getting surprisingly little attention this summer.

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.