Mookie Betts
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Red Sox could make decision on Mookie Betts trade soon

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Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox could make a decision regarding trading Mookie Betts soon, perhaps even within the next few days. The Padres and Dodgers are the two teams most involved in trade talks regarding Betts.

Betts, 27, will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. He will earn a $27 million salary this season. The Red Sox, concerned with lowering payroll to get under the $208 million competitive balance tax threshold, believe a Betts trade would be the most efficient way to accomplish that goal.

Betts, the 2018 American League MVP, hit .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs, 80 RBI, 135 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases across 706 plate appearances this past season. He was worth 6.6 Wins Above Replacement according to FanGraphs, the ninth-best mark in baseball and fifth-best in the AL.

The Padres or Dodgers, or any other team that would acquire Betts, would be expected to cover a sizable portion of his salary as well as part with some high-end young players. If the Padres and Red Sox are able to come to an agreement, Speier notes that the Padres would need the Red Sox to receive Wil Myers in return in order to offset some salary.

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.