On July 1, 2019, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in Arlington, Texas prior to a road series against the Texas Rangers. Over two and a half years later, a verdict has been reached in the trial surrounding his cause of death.
Eric Kay, a former Angels communications director, was found guilty on two counts on distributing counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl as well as conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. The court ruled that Kay’s distribution of fentanyl-laced pills directly led to Skaggs’ death in 2019.
The eight-day trial brought to light a number of disturbing details surrounding Kay’s ties to various players and a potential opioid issue for Major League Baseball. Within the case, former Angels pitcher Matt Harvey admitted — with immunity — that he distributed pills to Skaggs on the day of his death.
While Harvey will not face federal charges for this admission, he may still be punished by MLB. Harvey faces a potential 60-day suspension should a team sign him in free agency upon the conclusion of the lockout.
Angels President John Carpino released the following statement after the guilty verdict was announced:
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) February 17, 2022
Kay faces a minimum of 20 years in prison, and will be sentenced on June 28.
Major League Baseball is now tasked with investigating more pervasive drug usage throughout the league. Skaggs’ death remains a tragedy within the Angels organization and throughout the baseball world. Kay’s guilty verdict signals the first step towards justice for the Skaggs family.
MLBPA makes some concessions in recent CBA proposal
In a small step towards progress, the MLBPA opted against fighting for arbitration eligibility for 100% of players with two years of service time. Instead, they offered for the top 80% to be arbitration eligible with a bonus pool of $115 million, which is a slight increase from their recent $100 million proposal.
This figures to be the final offer from either side before daily meetings reportedly begin on Monday.