Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine”

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday afternoon that Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton had been summoned to New York City to meet with Major League Baseball officials concerning a “disciplinary issue.”

There was immediate speculation from various corners of the internet that it probably had something to do with his well-documented battle with drug addiction, and now that sadly looks to be true.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is hearing from sources that Hamilton had a relapse “a couple months back” that “involved at least cocaine.” Heyman says the 33-year-old slugger confessed to MLB officials that he used. There’s no word of a failed test.

Heyman suspects that Hamilton will be put into a rehab program as a first-time offender. His prior issues with drugs happened before he was on a major league roster, so he could avoid a suspension.

Hamilton was already due to miss the first month or two of the 2015 regular season while recovering from right shoulder surgery. Anaheim owes him a total of $90.2 million over the next three years.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area 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 before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.