Late Angels Pitcher Tyler Skaggs Reportedly Received Opioids from Team Employee

Eric Kay admits he abused oxycodone with the pitcher for years

Los Angeles Angels Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs reportedly had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system when he died at the age of 27 on July 1 after choking on his own vomit in his hotel room, and according to an ESPN report Saturday (Oct. 13), a team employee has admitted to federal investigators that he provided the drugs to the player.

Eric Kay, the Angels’ director of communications, admitted that he provided the oxycodone to Skaggs prior to his death and that the two abused the drug together for years. Kay also claimed that two Angels officials were told about Skaggs’ drug use long before his death and provided investigators with the names of some other players on the Angels he believed were also using opiates.

ESPN reports that Kay obtained six oxycodone pills a day or two before the team left for their road trip to Texas and gave three to Skaggs. Kay reportedly told DEA investigators that he doesn’t believe the pills he gave Skaggs were the ones that killed him because the pitcher would typically ingest the pills in the bathroom immediately after receiving them from him. He also admitted to visiting Skaggs in his hotel room hours before his death, where he witnessed the pitcher snort three lines of crushed opioids.

“Eric Kay does not relish the position that, by his own admission, he put himself in,” Kay’s attorney Michael Molfetta said. “At the same time, he does not deserve to be blamed for Tyler Skaggs’s death. He does not deserve to be blamed for Tyler Skaggs’s addiction.”

Both the Angels and Major League Baseball have denied any prior knowledge of Skaggs’ drug use. Angels president John Carpino said, “We have never heard that any employee was providing illegal narcotics to any player, or that any player was seeking illegal narcotics,” while an MLB spokesperson provided the following statement: “MLB was unaware of any of these allegations. MLB will fully cooperate with the government investigation and conduct its own investigation when the government investigation is completed.”

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