Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron testified in a Fort Worth, Texas courtroom on Tuesday in the trial against former Los Angeles Angels public relations employee Eric Kay, who was charged with the distribution of opioids and causing the opioid-related death of Tyler Skaggs, both of which are felonies. Skaggs died in Texas while with the Angels in 2019.
Cron, who was a former teammate of Skaggs with the Angels from 20114 through 2017, testified that he took opioids while he was with the Angels and after he left to join the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018. Cron named Kay as his supplier for oxycodone and said that he bought from Kay eight times.
Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron admitted to opioid use in court on Tuesday
In addition to Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron, three other players also testified that they received drugs from Eric Kay while they were with the Los Angeles Angels.
According to T.J. Quinn of ESPN (who was in the courtroom and had a series of tweets during the trial on Tuesday), Cron testified that Kay sold them to him after he left the Angels too. He received them from Kay when the Angels and Rays faced each other in Anaheim in May 2018 after Cron contacted Skaggs via text to get them from Kay. Skaggs contacted Kay directly for them and Cron received them.
Cron also said that Kay would put the pills in his locker or in his shoes to hide them but he never took them in the middle of a game. He also testified that it was a “bad decision” to take the pills in the first place, per Quinn.
Tyler Skaggs died in his hotel room on July 1, 2019 from a mix of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol. Fentanyl is a version of oxycodone but is much more deadly and more potent. The mix of the former two especially with alcohol is particularly deadly and Cron testified that he knew not to mix the two since he knew not to drink alcohol with prescription pain killers.
Among others, former Angels pitcher Matt Harvey also testified and he said that it’s common for MLB players to use oxycodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen alone is commonly known as Tylenol and not an opioid but with oxycodone, it is known as Percocet, which is an opioid.
He testified that he gave Percocet to Skaggs while he was an Angel because he thought he was “being a good teammate” by helping Skaggs deal with injuries. He also testified to using cocaine while he was with Mets and Angels. He admitted all of this because he was granted immunity to testify against Kay. Kay, if found guilty of all counts, could face up to 20 years in prison.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an opioid addiction, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), via text message: 435748 (HELP4U), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. It is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.