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Angels employee named in Tyler Skaggs case

Tyler Skaggs, Angels

For months, the tragic death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was clouded in mystery.

Although an autopsy eventually revealed that Skaggs ingested a lethal dosage of opioids, teammates and family members insisted that Skaggs never had a drug problem. There was also no evidence of foul play, which made the situation all the more perplexing.

But on Saturday evening, T.J. Quinn of ESPN reported that an Angels employee had provided the DEA with extensive details of Skaggs’ drug use:

A public relations employee for the Los Angeles Angels told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years, and that two team officials were told about Skaggs’ drug use long before his death, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

Eric Kay, the Angels’ director of communications, also gave U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels, the sources said.

Kay allegedly has a history of drug abuse, and he told DEA investigators that Skaggs would pay for the obtention of banned substances:

Kay told investigators that he and Skaggs had worked out an arrangement in which Kay would obtain drugs for Skaggs and himself, and Skaggs would pay for them. Outside the Lines reviewed Venmo transactions alleged to have occurred between Skaggs and Kay, which show a series of payments over two years ranging from $150 to $600.

Under MLB protocol, all team employees are mandated to immediately report any signs of drug abuse. Of course, as a purported addict himself, Kay was unlikely to ever report Skaggs’ own abuse.

This is a sad revelation for a death that rocked the MLB community this summer.

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