Free agent right-hander Matt Harvey testified yesterday during the ongoing trial of former Angels communications director Eric Kay, who is accused of distributing the drugs that led to the tragic 2019 death of Tyler Skaggs. On the stand, Harvey — who was granted immunity from criminal prosecution — admitted to providing Skaggs with Percocet pills shortly before Skaggs’ death.
An MLB official tells T.J. Quinn of ESPN that Harvey could face a suspension between 60 and 90 days for distributing controlled substances. MLB said in a statement that it will “conduct a comprehensive review of the potential violations of our drug program” after the conclusion of the trial. Kay’s defense team rested its case this afternoon. Closing arguments are scheduled to take place tomorrow morning, and it’s expected that jury deliberations will begin not long after.
The matter is further complicated by the ongoing MLB lockout. Quinn writes that the league cannot pursue discipline until after a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. The Joint Drug Agreement between the league and MLB Players Association has been suspended by the lockout, also resulting in a pause on drug testing (both for drugs of abuse and performance-enhancing substances) for MLBPA members.
Four other former members of the Angels also testified about opioid usage during Kay’s trial. C.J. Cron (now with the Rockies), Cam Bedrosian (on a minor league deal with the Phillies) and free agent Mike Morin testified yesterday, while free agent reliever Blake Parker took the stand this afternoon. All four players admitted to using drugs given to them by Kay, but only Harvey said he’d ever distributed drugs to anyone else. Quinn writes that the cases of Cron, Bedrosian, Morin and Parker are likely to be referred to a treatment board for the creation of a treatment program. Unless those players have previously been disciplined for drugs of abuse — referrals to the treatment board are not typically made public — they would not face the possibility of suspension.