A’s want pitching coach Curt Young back from Red Sox

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Right around this time last fall Curt Young resigned as A’s pitching coach to take the same job with the Red Sox, but a year later Young may be returning to Oakland.

Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Young “is expected to be reeled back to the Bay Area by the end of the month” because he’s friends with Oakland manager Bob Melvin and “represents the A’s top target at the moment.”

For now Young has a year remaining on his Red Sox contract, but the starting rotation’s September collapse followed by Terry Francona’s departure has led to some speculation that Young could be the next member of the coaching staff to go.

Young was the A’s pitching coach for seven seasons before joining the Red Sox and his replacement in Oakland, Ron Romanick, was fired shortly after the season ended.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.