Craig Kimbrel
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Report: Craig Kimbrel lowers asking price

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Free agent closer Craig Kimbrel may be willing to budge on his asking price after all, according to a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Saturday. Rosenthal revealed that Kimbrel is still seeking “a deal he believes to be fair,” one that might fall somewhere between the three-year, $39 million deal Zack Britton took with the Yankees this winter and the three-year, $52 million contract Wade Davis signed with the Rockies back in 2017.

Those figures are noted departures from the five-year, $100 million agreement Kimbrel and his agent, Dave Meter, were reportedly pursuing last month. They’ve supposedly received several legitimate offers from teams over the last few months, but nothing that appears to approach what Kimbrel might consider to be fair. And even if Kimbrel and Meter are willing to make this big of a concession, it’s not as if teams are lining up to sign the closer these days — no matter how much they might need him to bolster the back end of their bullpen.

As we’ve said here before, it would be a shame to see the 2019 season pass Kimbrel by. The former Red Sox hurler is a remarkable talent, as proven by his annual sub-3.00 ERA, lifetime 18.0 fWAR, ridiculous strikeout percentages, and seven All-Star nominations. It wasn’t long ago that he was in the running for a Cy Young Award, too. But, while his asking price may no longer be exorbitant, it’s unclear just how much playing time he’ll be willing to sacrifice in order to hold out for the multi-year deal he deserves.

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.