5 MLB pitchers on witness list for trial over Skaggs’ death
FORT WORTH, Texas- Five major league pitchers are on the government’s witness list for the trial of a former Los Angeles Angels employee accused of providing Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs with the drugs that caused his overdose death.
Boston’s Garrett Richards, who spent his first eight big league seasons with the Angels, would testify that Eric Prescott Kay once asked him for unused oxycodone pills, according to filing by federal prosecutors posted Thursday.
Kay’s trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in Fort Worth after several postponements. He faces charges of drug distribution and drug conspiracy in Skaggs’ death. The charges carry a maximum of a life sentence and 20 years in prison, respectively.
Attorneys for both sides didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. Kay has been free on his own recognizance.
Andrew Heaney of the New York Yankees, one of Skaggs’ closest friends when they were teammates, is on the witness list along with three other former Angels in Cam Bedrosian, Matt Harvey and Blake Parker.
All five pitchers on the list were with the Angels at some point during the 2017-19 seasons, when prosecutors allege Kay obtained oxycodone pills and distributed them to Skaggs and other players.
Bedrosian, Harvey and Parker are among those who would testify that Kay distributed drugs to Skaggs and other players, according to the government’s filing.
Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his suburban Dallas hotel room on July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed.
A coroner’s report said Skaggs had choked to death on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the drugs fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, which Kay is accused of providing.
The government’s filing said Heaney would testify about his attempts to reach Skaggs the day he was found dead and interactions between Kay and Skaggs.
Heaney and Bedrosian, who pitched for Cincinnati, Oakland and Philadelphia last year, were with the Angels all three of the seasons covering the allegations against Kay. Richards left for San Diego in free agency before the third season, 2019.
Harvey’s only year with the Angels was 2019. Blake Parker pitched for Los Angeles in 2017-18.
Kay was the Angels’ director of communications, and he served as their public relations contact on many road trips. He was placed on leave shortly after Skaggs’ death, and never returned to the team.
According to court filings, Kay spent about a month in drug rehab over oxycodone use starting in April 2019, a little more than two months before Skaggs died. Kay was on that trip to Texas.
Team officials have said they had not been aware that Skaggs was an opioids user and didn’t know any employees were providing drugs to players.