Report: Angels employee provided drugs to Tyler Skaggs, used them with pitcher

Eric HeYahoo Sports Contributor
New details revealed by ESPN indicated that <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/la-angels/" data-ylk="slk:Angels">Angels</a> team officials were aware of Tyler Skaggs' drug use before the pitcher's death. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
New details revealed by ESPN indicated that Angels team officials were aware of Tyler Skaggs' drug use before the pitcher's death. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

A Los Angeles Angels employee provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and told two team officials about the pitcher’s drug use before his death, according to an ESPN report.

The employee was identified as Eric Kay, the team’s director of communications. According to ESPN, he told federal investigators that he abused opioids with Skaggs and provided them with the names of five other players who he alleged to be using opiates.

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Skaggs died on July 1 at age 27 after he was found in a hotel room in Texas with a mixture of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system, according to toxicology reports. On Aug. 30, the Skaggs family released a statement indicating that a team employee was involved in providing Skaggs with drugs.

Texts reportedly showed transactions

ESPN reported that investigators obtained text messages between Kay and Skaggs that revealed the employee as the source of the oxycodone. There were reportedly Venmo transactions between the two that ranged from $150 to $600.

According to ESPN, Kay informed investigators that he provided Skaggs with three oxycodone pills before the Angels took off on the road trip to Texas. On the day of Skaggs’ death, Kay said that he visited Skaggs in his room at the pitcher’s request. According to the report, Kay said that Skaggs “snorted three lines of crushed opioids in front of him.”

Kay said he told officials

Kay also reportedly told investigators about two team officials that he informed of Skaggs’ drug use, one of whom was former longtime vice president of communications Tim Mead, who left this year to become president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Mead, though denied to ESPN that he was aware that Skaggs used opioids before his death.

The Angels released a statement Saturday afternoon denying any knowledge of a team employee providing drugs to any players.

Kay has been in his position with the Angels since 2014 after joining the organization in 1996 as an intern. According to ESPN, he is currently on paid leave and being treated for substance abuse.

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