The Reds and Aroldis Chapman avoid arbitration

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds and Aroldis Chapman avoided arbitration today with a one-year deal. The terms are unknown, but Chapman submitted a $8.7 million figure while the Reds’ proposal was $6.65 million. Figure the midpoint is what he’ll be paid.

Chapman will be 27 this season. Last year he saved 36 games with a 2.00 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 54 innings which is simply ridiculous.

UPDATE: Strike that midpoint talk: Jeff Passan reports that the deal is $8.05 million, which is nearly half a million above the midpoint.

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.