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Sandy Alderson expected to get a two-year contract extension

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Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets will soon announce that general manager Sandy Alderson will sign a two-year contract extension that will lock him up through the 2020 season.

Alderson, who turns 70 next month, has been at the helm of the Mets since the 2010-11 offseason. In that time he has overseen a paring down of payroll but, until this season anyway, an improvement of performance, taking a fourth place team to third, then second and then first in the division, winning the NL pennant in 2015 and the Wild Card in 2016. This year injuries and sub-par performance pushed the Mets back into fourth and led to the dismissal of manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen.

Talent-wise, the team is at a crossroads. What was once thought to be a dominant rotation that would last years has been beset with injuries and the development of minor league hitters has been uneven at best. At the same time, the presence of Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard and other veterans, along with the ascendence of Michael Conforto, put the team on more of a win-now footing than a rebuild footing. The decisions facing the Mets this offseason will not be easy ones.

They will, however, have an old hand making them, now and for the foreseeable future.

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.