Matt Harvey could face suspension for drug distribution following testimony in Eric Kay trial, per report


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Free-agent pitcher Matt Harvey testified on Tuesday as part of the trial concerning ex-Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay’s role in the death of former pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Kay is accused of providing the drugs to Skaggs that resulted in his death. Now, Harvey’s testimony could result in a suspension of two-plus months if and when he signs with a team, according to what a MLB official told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn.

Harvey, who admitted to distributing pain pills to Skaggs during their shared time with the Angels, is believed to have violated the league’s policy against drug distribution. Here’s part of what Harvey testified about during his time on the stand:

Harvey stated that he would provide Skaggs with Percocet pills, and that painkiller usage was common among players in 2019. He also told the court about how, after being told he wasn’t traveling with the Angels on what proved to be that fateful road trip, he asked Kay for an oxycodone pill. When Harvey woke up the following morning and heard about Skaggs’ death, he told the court that he threw away the pill because he feared something would happen to him, per Sam Blum of The Athletic.

MLB said in a statement to Quinn and ESPN that the league intends to investigate once the trial ends. (The defense rested its case on Wednesday, meaning closing arguments will take place on Thursday.)

It’s worth noting that MLB is unable to enact any punishment until it lifts the owner-imposed lockout, which has now been in place since early December. That act is not expected to occur until after the league and the MLB Players Association each ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Harvey, 33 come March, appeared in 28 games with the Baltimore Orioles last season. He has not been a reliable big-league performer since 2018, casting doubt on his prospects of landing another contract.

Harvey was one of several former Angels players to testify that they received opioids from Kay on at least a single occasion. Those players are not expected to be suspended since none of them admitted to distributing the drugs to other players. 

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on a team road trip to Texas in July 2019.



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