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Will the Nationals extend Dusty Baker?

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Nationals manager Dusty Baker is heading into the final year of his two-year contract, signed back in November 2015. The veteran skipper led the Nationals to a first-place finish at 95-67, though the club was defeated in five games in the NLDS by the Dodgers.

Baker’s future is uncertain, but MASN’s Pete Kerzel expects the Nationals to extend Baker’s contract by the time spring training begins in mid-February. He does not think the Nationals will allow Baker the option to walk away considering the success the team had in his first year at the helm.

As Kerzel notes, the Nationals don’t have any obvious in-house successors in the event Baker were to leave, which only makes it seem like a no-brainer to keep him around. The Nationals’ players, a mix of youth and veterans, seemed to enjoy playing for him.

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.