The Reds are considering dealing Jay Bruce

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Reds “have engaged in preliminary discussions” about trading outfielder Jay Bruce. He says the Padres are one team they have spoken to.

Bruce is coming off the worst season of his career, so it is something of a sell-low situation. Which could be why, according to Rosenthal, the Reds aren’t committed to dealing him as much as they are merely feeling other teams out on the idea.

Bruce is under team control through 2017. If he bounces back, he’d be a nice pickup for someone, given that before his bad 2014 — which the Reds attribute to lingering effects from a injury — he posted four straight years of solid production and represents a rare source of team-controlled power.

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.