The Blue Jays opened their purse strings in a big way on Monday, agreeing to terms with Russell Martin on a five-year, $82 million free agent contract.
Martin was born just outside Toronto and grew up in Montreal, which might have served as a factor in the club’s aggressive approach to signing him. You know, marketing and all that. Here’s an interesting note from Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star …
Considered among the top free agents in this year’s class, Martin will become the 21st Canadian to play for the Jays. But he is easily the most high profile and is set to lead the most Canadian Jays’ team in franchise history.
Never before has the club boasted more than one Canadian position player in the starting lineup, and next year they could have three in Martin, Langley, B.C.-native Brett Lawrie and Mississauga’s Dalton Pompey.
Kennedy says the Blue Jays have been trying to stir country-wide interest in the club “more than ever in recent years” with a Winter Tour through the Canadian provinces, more of an emphasis on the maple leaf in hat and uniform logos, and by celebrating Canada Day with a matinee game at Rogers Centre. They’ve also begun playing preseason games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and those have been a tremendous success.
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.