MLB to Discuss Testing Players for Opioids Following Death of Tyler Skaggs

Tyler Skaggs passed away in July and the autopsy revealed the presence of fentanyl and oxycodone. Because of that, we could see Major League Baseball players being tested for the presence of opioids in the very near future. According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via CBS Sports), the MLB and MLB will discuss expanding the random testing program to include finding opioids.

"For several reasons, including the tragic loss of a member of our fraternity and other developments happening in the country as a whole, it is appropriate and important to reexamine all of our drug protocols relating to education, treatment and prevention," Tony Clark of the MLBPA said in a statement.

Testing for fentanyl and oxycodone is already established in the minor leagues. So if the MLB decides to move forward with this, they already have a system in place.

Skaggs, 27 was found dead in his Southlake, Texas hotel room on July 1 just hours before the Angels were set to face the Texas Rangers. He was drafted by the Angles in 2009 right out of high school. The following year, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and made his MLB debut with the team in August 2012. Skaggs was traded back to the Angels in 2013.

"It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas," the Angels said in a statement. "Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carli and his entire family during this devastating time."

Once the autopsy was announced, Skaggs' family released a statement and said they have hired an attorney because they believe an employee in the Angels organization may have been involved in Skaggs' death. The MLB has started its investigation on the matter and the Angels made this statement after what was found in the autopsy.


“Everyone’s searching for facts, and everyone within the organization wants facts,’’ Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “Which is why we are actively cooperating with an investigation. It kind of goes without saying that I cannot comment more on the situation until the police conclude their investigation.’’

Opioids are becoming a problem in the country as an average of over 130 Americans die of opioid use according to the Centers for Disease Control. So it's likely the MLB will take action on this very soon.