UPDATE: Jon Lester’s $30 million signing bonus is included in the $155 million


UPDATE: Bruce Levine reports that Lester’s $30 million signing bonus is included in the $155 million. Why it’s characterized as a signing bonus is still an interesting questions but, no, it’s not a $185 million deal.

11:36 AM: Just some added flavor to the deal the Cubs gave Jon Lester:

From what I can tell based on what everyone is saying, that’s on top of the $155 million, but we’ll certainly update that if it’s being misreported. If so, it’s a 6-year, $185 million contract. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say the Cubs wanted him.

As for why it’s being characterized as a $155 million deal with a “bonus” paid out over the life of the deal, which makes it functionally the same as additional salary: my guess is that it’s an ownership politics thing in which no one really wants to be the team that gave out the $30M+/year contract to a pitcher, so let’s just call it a bonus. Or there could be some luxury tax-avoidance issues in play for down the road.

Which, whatever. People aren’t idiots and can do math. But I can’t otherwise see why they’d structure it that way as opposed to just paying the man straight dough.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

AP Photo

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.