Mets are expected to trade for Reds outfielder Jay Bruce

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After reversing course on a trade for Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez the Mets turned their attention to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the “expectation among many in industry is that deal will happen.”

To get Gomez the Mets were set to give up right-hander Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. No word yet on the exact return needed to snag the 28-year-old Bruce, but Rosenthal wrote yesterday that the Reds were willing to take Wheeler for him.

Bruce and Gomez are vastly different players, but they’re both signed for next season and clearly the Mets wanted any outfield pickup to be more than just a two-month rental. Bruce struggled last season, but has returned to his usual production this year by hitting .257 with 17 homers and an .827 OPS in 97 games to match his .826 OPS from 2010-2013.

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.