Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Tigers, Blue Jays and Padres have inquired with the Mets about the possibility of a Daniel Murphy trade.
Murphy, 26, hit .320/.362/.448 in 109 games for the Mets last season before suffering a knee injury while playing second base in August. The left-handed hitter has experience at first, second, third and in left field.
Unfortunately, the Mets have three of those spots covered, and many feel that Murphy isn’t a long-term option at second base, partly because of a lack of range and partly because he may keep getting hurt there. The Mets would probably plug him in at second anyway if the season started tomorrow, but they might be open to trading him now.
Sherman suggests that the Mets like Detroit’s Andy Dirks as a potential alternative to Angel Pagan in center field. Pagan is a non-tender candidate with his salary set to jump to about $5 million in arbitration. The Blue Jays would probably offer a young arm or two in return.
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.