Cardinals add more bullpen help, get Jonathan Broxton from Brewers

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Not satisfied with Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek as their only bullpen reinforcement, the Cardinals have acquired right-hander Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers in exchange for minor leaguer Mailk Collymore.

Milwaukee got Broxton from Cincinnati as a late-August trade pickup last year and he ended up throwing 47 innings with a 5.55 ERA for the Brewers, but his 49/12 K/BB ratio is a lot more impressive and his average fastball still clocks in at 95 miles per hour. St. Louis will use Broxton in a setup role in front of closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Cishek is under team control via arbitration for 2016 if the Cardinals feel like keeping him at a relative high salary and Broxton’s contract includes a $9 million option or $2 million buyout for 2016, so it’s possible (but unlikely?) neither will be merely two-month rentals.

Collymore is a 20-year-old outfielder playing his third season of rookie-ball while hitting .216, so he’s more “minor leaguer” than “prospect.”

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.