Travis dArnaud
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Mets designate Travis d’Arnaud

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The Mets have designated catcher Travis d'Arnaud for assignment, the club announced Sunday morning. He’ll be replaced by Tomás Nido, who has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to assume d’Arnaud’s roster spot.

It’s a disappointing, albeit not completely surprising end to d’Arnaud’s seven-year trek in the Mets’ system. After coming off of a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery, the 30-year-old backstop struggled to produce at the plate this spring and batted a mere .087/.160/.247 with just two hits and two RBI through his first 25 plate appearances. The Mets evidently felt that d’Arnaud didn’t require a longer rehab assignment to ease him back into games at the start of the season, and now, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports, they’ll owe him the remaining $2.955 million on his $3.52 million contract if they can’t find a suitable trade partner.

Nido, 25, has gone hitless in his first two major-league games of 2019. In Triple-A, however, he made a favorable impression over his first dozen games, slashing .289/.300/.316 with a double and four RBI through 40 plate appearances. As d’Arnaud did for the first several weeks of the season, he’ll play backup to Wilson Ramos behind the plate.

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.