MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that the Angels felt they would complete a deal with the Phillies for second baseman Chase Utley on Friday, but they’re still hopeful to acquire the veteran. The Angels believe they’re the most appealing destination for Utley, as they can offer him playing time at second base and DH. Gonzalez adds that he believes Utley would get most of his playing time at DH if he were to join the Angels.
Utley went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI in Friday’s loss to the Brewers. Since coming off of the disabled list on August 7, he’s hit safely in all six games, batting .500/.478/.682 with four doubles in 23 plate appearances.
The Cubs, Astros, Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers have had reported interest in Utley. The 36-year-old has a no-trade clause per his 10-and-5 rights, is owed about $6 million, and is all but certain to become a free agent after the season.
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.