The Royals and Rangers are interested in Ian Kennedy

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals and Rangers have expressed interest in Padres starter Ian Kennedy.

The Padres are openly shopping any number of pitchers, including Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, but Kennedy is the most likely to be dealt, Rosenthal says. And given that the Padres are looking for offense, it doesn’t seem like the Royals would make a great match for them.

Kennedy has been a below league-average pitcher in terms of ERA+ the past two seasons. Though last year he did strike out more than a batter an inning and over the past several years has never pitched fewer than 181 innings.

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.