Mariners “appear unwilling” to go beyond three years for Melky Cabrera

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With a void in right field, many consider the Mariners a natural fit to sign free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera. However, it’s far from a sure thing.

Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners “appear unwilling” to offer a contract beyond three years. In addition, they aren’t expected to give Cabrera a higher AAV (average annual value) than they already gave Nelson Cruz ($14 million per season over four years). If that’s the case, their max offer for Cabrera could be $42 million over three years, which likely isn’t good enough. Still, Dutton writes that “many in the industry believe he will sign eventually with the Mariners.”

With previous trade targets like Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes now off the board, some of the alternatives to Cabrera include Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox, Justin Upton of the Braves, Seth Smith of the Padres, and free agent outfielder Alex Rios.

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.