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Yankees release Chris Carter

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The New York Yankees announced that they have released Chris Carter. He had been designated for assignment on July 4.

Carter, 30, hit .201 with eight homers, 26 RBIs and a .284 on-base percentage in 208 plate appearances. They signed him back in February to a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

One one level, it was a smart signing. Carter led the National League in homers last year with 41 and drove in 94 runs. On the other hand, it was one of the emptier 40-homer years in history, as Carter hit only .222 and only got on base at a .321 clip. He slugged .499 which is fine in the abstract, but not for a 40-homer player. In short, he was dangerous if you made a mistake, but he wasn’t making things happen in a way a good player does. The Brewers didn’t tender him a contract in the offseason, making him available to the Yankees.

The Yankees are responsible for paying the rest of his salary, which is less than $2 million at this point. If anyone else signs him, they will be responsible for the prorated share of the $535,000 major league minimum.

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.