Phillies have received four “real offers” for Cole Hamels

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Jim Salisbury, the Phillies beat writer for CSNPhilly.com, shares the following report …

A week before spring training, a number of Phillies remain very much available for trades.

Cole Hamels is still the most coveted Phillie.

How many teams have shown interest in the left-hander this offseason?

“Eight teams have kicked the tires,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com on Wednesday.

How many teams have made offers?

“Real offers?” Amaro said.

“Four.”

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported Monday that the Padres, Rangers, Dodgers, and Cardinals have “stayed in contact with Phillies on Hamels,” so perhaps those are the four teams that have made these “real” offers.

San Diego can probably be ruled out after the James Shields signing, but Texas, Los Angeles, and St. Louis might all still be in play. Interestingly, Hamels’ no-trade clause doesn’t cover any of those three clubs.

Hamels, who turned 31 years old in December, posted an outstanding 2.46 ERA (1.51 ERA+) and 8.7 K/9 across 204 2/3 innings last season for Philadelphia. He is due $94 million over the next four years and carries a $24 million vesting option (or $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout) for the 2019 season.

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.