Daniel Hudson

Diamondbacks close to signing Daniel Hudson, Henry Blanco

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are close to re-signing rehabbing right-hander Daniel Hudson and backup catcher Henry Blanco.

Hudson is expected to miss most of 2014 following a pair of Tommy John elbow surgeries and the Diamondbacks non-tendered him last week because they ran out of time to work out a deal before the arbitration-offering deadline. According to Piecoro the main sticking point was that Hudson wants a guaranteed spot on the 40-man roster while he rehabs.

Blanco was Arizona’s backup catcher for 2011 and 2012, playing sparingly behind starter Miguel Montero before spending this year in Seattle and Toronto. At age 42 he’s near the end of the line, but Pieroco reports that he’ll cost only a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

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.