Rockies re-sign left-hander Jeff Francis to one-year deal

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From ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Rockies have re-signed left-handed starter Jeff Francis to a one-year major league contract.

No word yet on the financial details.

Francis posted a brutal 5.58 ERA and 1.48 WHIP across 24 starts this past season for Colorado, fanning only 76 batters in 113 innings of work. He has a 4.86 career ERA and a 1.44 career WHIP.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the 31-year-old will compete for the fifth spot in the Rockies’ 2013 starting rotation. Get excited, Rockies fans!

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.