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Report: Matt Harvey Could Face MLB Suspension for Providing Opioids to Tyler Skaggs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 17, 2022

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Free-agent starting pitcher Matt Harvey may be subject to a suspension from MLB following his testimony in the trial surrounding the death of former Los Angeles Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, according to ESPN's T.J. Quinn.

Harvey testified Tuesday that he had provided Skaggs with opioids. The two were teammates on the Angels in 2019. Quinn spoke to an MLB official who said Harvey's admission would be punishable under the league's drug policy.

Skaggs was found dead on July 1, 2019. An autopsy showed he had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system when he died.

A federal grand jury indicted former Angels communications director Eric Kay in October 2020 on charges of distributing a controlled substance and possession with the intent to distribute.

Over the course of the trial, multiple players have testified to receiving opioids from Kay. Harvey said Tuesday he and Skaggs had discussed their drug use and that he gave Skaggs Percocet pills:

Sam Blum @SamBlum3

Harvey said he's been friends with Skaggs and discussed oxycodone use when they became closer in ST of 2019. He said Skaggs showed him a bag with 5 pills at one point. <br><br>Harvey also acknowledged past use of cocaine, but said it's not impacting his memory/ability to testify.

Sam Blum @SamBlum3

According to a text message shown in court, Skaggs asked Harvey for a pill to get him "loosey goosey". <br><br>He says he gave the remainder of a batch of pink percocet pills to Skaggs on June 27, 3-4 days before Skaggs' death.

Harvey also said he and Skaggs had used oxycodone in the Angel Stadium clubhouse and dugout. He responded affirmatively when asked whether it was "common" for MLB players to use oxycodone and Tylenol.

Quinn reported that C.J. Cron, Mike Morin, Cam Bedrosian and Blake Parker all confirmed they had used opioids in the past but that they won't be suspended because they didn't distribute the drugs to another teammate.

Quinn also shared a statement from MLB that the league will "conduct a comprehensive review of the potential violations of our drug program" once Kay's trial is over.

Harvey made 28 starts for the Baltimore Orioles in 2021, going 6-14 with a 6.27 ERA, after signing a one-year contract.

With MLB and the MLB Players Association still at an impasse over a new collective bargaining agreement, any suspension against the 2013 All-Star wouldn't be levied until a new CBA is signed and he has joined a team.

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