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Matt Wieters is drawing interest from the Rays

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The Rays are rumored to be one of the “new teams” in on veteran catcher Matt Wieters, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. It’s no secret that Wieters’ market is shrinking as the offseason wears on, which has most often been attributed to his declining offense over the past two years, lingering elbow injuries and a high price tag.

Earlier this month, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal spoke to Wieters’ agent, Scott Boras, who revealed that the veteran backstop lacerated his left forearm with a glass water bottle in November. Boras added that there was no nerve damage to Wieters’ arm, but the injury could give teams some pause as they consider making a contract offer in 2017.

Heyman also speculates that the Rays will be something of a long shot for Wieters, especially after they committed a two-year, $12.5 million contract to fellow veteran catcher Wilson Ramos last December. Ramos is expected to miss the first month of the season as he recovers from knee surgery and could ease back into catching duties after spending some time at DH in May. While that appears to leave an open door for Wieters, the club has a platoon option available in 28-year-old Curt Casali and 26-year-old Luke Maile.

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.