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Report: Nationals interested in Lance Lynn

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Free agent right-hander Lance Lynn has garnered considerable interest around the league this offseason, most recently from the Nationals. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal speculates that the team would be hard-pressed to accommodate someone with Lynn’s asking price, given that they’ve already blown past the $197 million luxury tax threshold, but that still may not prevent them from making an offer.

Lynn, 30, thrived in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in late 2015. While he has yet to return to the sub-3.00 ERA, 3.0+ fWAR totals of seasons past, he had a healthy, productive run with the Cardinals in 2017, going 11-8 in a career-high 33 starts and turning in a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 186 1/3 innings. Better still, he managed to dodge the disabled list entirely, missing just four days with a blister on his throwing hand and exhibiting no signs of recurring elbow issues.

Of course, the Nationals aren’t the only ones who want to buy in on a stable veteran starter. The Brewers, Orioles, Rangers and Twins have all been connected to Lynn at various points throughout the winter, though no clear frontrunner has emerged just yet. Both the Brewers and Orioles are arguably better-positioned to make a play for Lynn, but they currently appear more invested in fellow free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who is still on the market after rejecting a three-year, $42 million offer from the Cubs earlier this offseason.

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.