Report: Alex Rodriguez believes he will win the starting third base job with the Yankees

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The Yankees retained Chase Headley on a four-year, $52 million contract with the intention of using him as their regular third baseman in 2015, but don’t tell Alex Rodriguez. While he currently projects to serve as a DH and backup corner infielder, a source familiar with his thinking tells Steven Marcus of New York Newsday that Rodriguez believes he will beat out Headley for the starting third base job this spring:

“Alex’s mind is that job’s not Headley’s, it’s Alex’s to lose,” the source said. “That’s what he thinks. Alex is going into training camp thinking that he is the starting third baseman, that if there’s a competition, Headley’s got to win it from him. It doesn’t matter about the money, what they signed Headley for. This guy [Rodriguez] can play.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was told about Rodriguez’s mindset and said “we signed our third baseman,” so it’s clear where he stands on the situation. Still, is it really the worst thing for A-Rod to feel this way? He’ll probably be called delusional or something, but remember that he’s a hyper-competitive athlete with pride and an ego. If Headley’s presence provides that extra motivation for the 39-year-old to come into camp ready to prove folks wrong and contribute after his year-long PED suspension, so be it.

The story from New York Newsday makes it sound like the Rodriguez-Headley dynamic could look like this in 2015, but Kevin Kernan of the New York Post got a different take from a friend of A-Rod:

“Alex is looking at this season as a fresh start,” one friend said. “He’s prepared to do the best he can in his role as a DH, but he is also preparing to play third base, knowing there will be times that Headley needs a break.

He knows that Joe Girardi is a manager who likes to have options and wants to keep all his players fresh, so he knows he will get some time at third, and he feels being used in that way is good for the team overall. Everyone can get a break.

“He’s really got a positive approach to the whole thing, and the way he has been working to get in shape and also keep himself flexible has been impressive.”

A-Rod is ready and willing to accept his new diminished role. That’s not nearly as exciting, now is it?

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.