Report: Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers interested in White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez

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Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports that the White Sox have heard from “numerous” teams regarding the availability of shortstop Alexei Ramirez. The Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers are among the teams in the hunt. All three teams have a clear need at shortstop, though Levine notes that the Mets have the young starting pitching that the White Sox would covet.

Ramirez, 33, batted .273/.305/.408 with 15 home runs, 73 RBI, and 21 stolen bases over 158 games this season and carries the reputation as a strong defender. He was selected to his first All-Star team back in July and he took home his second career Silver Slugger Award earlier this evening. His contract is quite reasonable, as he’s owed $10 million next season and has a $10 million team option for 2016 or a $1 million buyout. As a result, the White Sox should expect a strong market for his services as teams consider free agent shortstops Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, and Stephen Drew.

The White Sox don’t have an obvious in-house replacement if Ramirez is moved, but 2013 first-round pick Tim Anderson is in the minor league pipeline.

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.