Hyun-Jin Ryu
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Hyun-Jin Ryu signs with Blue Jays on four-year, $80 million contract

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The Blue Jays made a significant addition to their starting rotation on Sunday night, signing veteran lefty free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year, $80 million contract, Jon Heyman reports. Per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the contract includes a full no-trade clause.

Ryu, 32, led all qualified starters in baseball last season with a 2.32 ERA, finishing second in NL Cy Young Award balloting. He also went 14-5 with 163 strikeouts and 24 walks over 182 2/3 innings of work. Though he has had trouble staying healthy over the course of his seven-year major league career, Ryu holds a 2.98 career ERA spanning 740 1/3 innings.

Ryu is the most significant addition the Blue Jays have made this offseason. He is one of three newcomers to the rotation, joining Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark. While the Jays had a disappointing 67-95 record this past season, they are putting in some effort to return to relevancy in the AL East.

Nightengale notes that Scott Boras, Ryu’s agent, has crossed $1 billion in total value of contracts signed by his clients this offseason. Boras’ other clients include Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million), Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $245 million), Anthony Rendon (seven years, $245 million), Mike Moustakas (four years, $64 million), and Dallas Keuchel (three years, $55.5 million).

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.