Red Sox close to signing Chris Capuano

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Free agent left-hander Chris Capuano is on the verge of signing with the Red Sox, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo reports that a deal could be completed as soon as today.

Boston’s need for rotation help increased following Ryan Dempster’s decision to sit out the season and Capuano represents a cheap option who presumably won’t require a multi-year commitment.

Capuano was limited to 20 starts last season by a groin injury and the Dodgers’ rotation depth, but he posted a 3.91 ERA and 52/10 K/BB ratio in 13 starts after June 1 and was a solid mid-rotation starter in 2012 with a 3.72 ERA in 198 innings. At age 35 he’s a risk to decline, but Capuano has always missed a solid number of bats, is impossible to run on, and shouldn’t be a dropoff from what Dempster gave the Red Sox last year.

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.