Joc Pederson
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Report: Dodgers to trade Joc Pederson to Angels

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As The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal suggested as news of the blockbuster Mookie Betts trade hit, the Dodgers have agreed to trade outfielder Joc Pederson and pitcher Ross Stripling to the Angels. They will receive infielder Luis Rengifo and two prospects in return.

Pederson, 29, hit a productive .249/.339/.538 with 36 home runs and 74 RBI across 514 plate appearances last season. 464 of those plate appearances came against right-handed pitchers.

Stripling, 30, made 15 starts and 17 relief appearances last season, posting a 3.47 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks across 90 2/3 innings of work.

Rengifo, 22, made his major league debut last season, batting .238/.321/.364 with 28 extra-base hits, 33 RBI, and 44 runs scored in 406 trips to the plate. He was, according to publicly available metrics, an above-average defender.

Pederson and the Dodgers couldn’t agree on a salary for the 2020 season, so they were headed to arbitration. Pederson filed for $9.5 million while the Dodgers countered at $7.75 million. Now it’s the Angels’ problem. More importantly for the Dodgers, getting Pederson off the books helps them absorb more of the salary taken on in the Betts trade which also included David Price. In Rengifo, the Dodgers also receive a solid middle infielder who will be under team control for quite a while.

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.