Mike Hazen
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Diamondbacks extend Mike Hazen

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The Diamondbacks have agreed to a contract extension with general manager Mike Hazen, the team confirmed Friday. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert notes that the deal had been ‘in the works’ for 10 days already, though specific terms of the contract have yet to be released. Hazen’s previous contract was set to expire following the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Prior to signing on with the Diamondbacks in 2016, Hazen served in a number of roles with the Indians and Red Sox from 2001 through 2015, shaping Cleveland’s farm system in the early 2000s and helping guide Boston through a successful postseason run in 2013 as vice president and assistant general manager of the club.

During the fall of 2016, Hazen reached a pact with the Diamondbacks and stepped into a dual executive vice president/general manager role. While Arizona is still waiting for their first World Series championship since 2001, they’ve seen some degree of success under Hazen’s leadership: not only keeping their heads above .500, but rising to second place in the NL West and launching a brief postseason run in 2017.

While there was some speculation that Hazen would earn consideration for the vacant GM role in the Red Sox’ organization, it’s clear the Diamondbacks wanted to hold onto the exec for several more seasons. The Red Sox fired longtime GM — and Hazen’s former colleague — Dave Dombrowski on Monday.

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.