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Bartolo Colon signs with the Atlanta Braves

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that free agent pitcher Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Braves. The deal is pending a physical. Terms of the deal have not been revealed. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal says the deal will be for one year and $12.5 million.

Colon has spent the past three seasons with the Mets. Despite the fact he’ll turn 44 early in the 2017 season, he is still a solid starter, having gone 44-32 with a 3.90 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 415/86 in 588.2 innings over those three seasons. His key to success has been throwing strikes, having led the league in fewest walks per nine innings pitched for the past two years.

At some point the bottom is going to drop out for Colon — age remains undefeated — but on the Braves he’s not expected to be an ace or, in all likelihood, will he be expected to pitch in anything approach a playoff race. Rather, he’s going to be expected to eat innings for a team that is still rebuilding and there is no reason to think he can’t do just that. In this he’s basically a similar pitcher to R.A. Dickey, whom the Braves signed earlier this week.

I have no idea how the Braves are going to do next season, but they’re gonna be fun to watch.

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.