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Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado among 2018 Gold Glove Award winners

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The finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced two weeks ago. The winners were announced tonight on ESPN. Here they are.

American League

C: Salvador Pérez (Royals), fifth career Gold Glove
1B: Matt Olson (Athletics), first career Gold Glove
2B: Ian Kinsler (Red Sox), second career Gold Glove
3B: Matt Chapman (Athletics), first career Gold Glove
SS: Andrelton Simmons (Angels), fourth career Gold Glove
LF: Alex Gordon (Royals), sixth career Gold Glove
CF: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Red Sox), first career Gold Glove
RF: Mookie Betts (Red Sox), third career Gold Glove
P: Dallas Keuchel (Astros), fourth career Gold Glove

Both Athletics corner infielders named Matt won Gold Gloves. Pérez resumes dominance over the catching position, having won it four straight years before Martín Maldonado interrupted him last year.

Notable snubs in the AL include Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, and Francisco Lindor.

National League

C: Yadier Molina (Cardinals), ninth career Gold Glove award
1B: Tie! Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), second career Gold Glove; Freddie Freeman (Braves), first career Gold Glove
2B: DJ LeMahieu (Rockies), third career Gold Glove
3B: Nolan Arenado (Rockies), sixth career Gold Glove
SS: Nick Ahmed (Diamondbacks), first career Gold Glove
LF: Corey Dickerson (Pirates), first career Gold Glove
CF: Ender Inciarte (Braves), third career Gold Glove
RF: Nick Markakis (Braves), third career Gold Glove
P: Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks), fifth career Gold Glove

Ahmed interrupts Brandon Crawford‘s run of dominance at shortstop. Crawford had won in each of the last three years. Arendo has now won Gold Gloves in each of the last six years. Rizzo and Freeman tied at first base. It’s the first NL Gold Glove tie since 2007 when Aaron Rowand and Jeff Francoeur tied in the outfield. The last AL tie was in 2012 when Jeremy Hellickson and Jake Peavy tied at pitcher. Markakis wins his first Gold Glove since 2014, interrupting Jason Heyward‘s hold on the position. Heyward had won in each of the last four years and in five of the last six. Molina won his ninth career Gold Glove, leaving him one shy of tying Johnny Bench for the most all-time among catchers. Greinke wins his fifth in a row.

Some snubs in the NL include the aforementioned Crawford and Heyward, as well as Lorenzo Cain, Kolten Wong, and Javier Báez.

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.