Sunday, July 14, 2024
HomeWorld newsMLB is investigating former Angels infielder David Fletcher for gambling

MLB is investigating former Angels infielder David Fletcher for gambling

Major League Baseball opened an investigation Monday to investigate allegations that former Los Angeles Angels infielder David Fletcher placed bets through an illegal bookmaker, ESPN reported.

Fletcher reportedly gambled through Matthew Bowyer, the same Southern California bookmaker who took bets from Ippei Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter.

Fletcher and Ohtani were close friends while playing for the Angels. Fletcher is now with the Atlanta Braves Triple-A team and Ohtani plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to ESPN, MLB will need government cooperation in its investigation due to a lack of evidence.

MLB investigators are expected to request a meeting with Fletcher, who could decline the interview if he proves he could be the subject of a criminal investigation.

ESPN reported that former minor leaguer Colby Schultz, a close friend of Fletcher’s, gambled on baseball through Bowyer, including games in which Fletcher played for the Angels.

Fletcher is hitting .244 with 16 RBIs in 31 games for Gwinnett. He is 2-for-8 in five games with the Braves this season.

Fletcher, who turns 30 on May 31, has a career average of .276 with 16 home runs and 170 RBIs in 539 games. He played for the Angels from 2018 to 2023.

Mizuhara recently pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud, doing so as a formality as negotiations with federal prosecutors loom as both sides try to reach a settlement.

Authorities say Mizuhara stole nearly $17 million from Ohtani to pay off his sports gambling debts.

The Dodgers fired the 39-year-old Mizuhara on March 21 after news broke that Ohtani accused him of “massive theft.” The money was reportedly transferred from Ohtani’s bank accounts to Bowyer.

Mizuhara has worked with Ohtani in the United States since 2018, but Mizuhara was also by Ohtani’s side when the two-time star played professionally in Japan.

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