As if Brien Taylor’s story wasn’t sad enough when injuries from a bar fight turned him from elite pitching prospect to bust, the former Yankees No. 1 overall pick has been indicted on three counts of distributing crack cocaine.
Taylor is now 40 years old and the Associated Press reports that he was indicted in North Carolina following a March arrest for allegedly “selling large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine to an undercover narcotics agent over a span of several months.”
He’s two decades removed from getting a $1.55 million signing bonus and Taylor ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on Baseball America‘s annual prospect list in 1992 and 1993. He never pitched in the majors and in fact never even made it to Triple-A.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.