Athletics “in talks” with free agent outfielder Cody Ross

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According to Jeff Fletcher of Bay Area Baseball, the Athletics “are currently in talks” with the representatives for free agent outfielder Cody Ross.

Ross opened this offseason in search of a three-year contract, but he has since lowered his demands and is now beginning to draw legitimate interest.

The 31-year-old batted .240/.325/.405 with 14 home runs, 25 doubles and 52 RBI in 121 games this past year for the Giants. Through eight major league seasons, he has amassed a .779 career OPS.

Ross would provide a veteran presence out in Oakland, where the current outfield depth chart includes 26-year-old Michael Taylor, 25-year-old Collin Cowgill and 24-year-old Josh Reddick.

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.