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MLB investigating INF David Fletcher for gambling

Mon May 20 2:51pm ET
Field Level Media

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

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

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 during its investigation due to a lack of evidence.

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

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

Fletcher is batting .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 .276 career average with 16 homers and 170 RBIs in 539 games. He played for the Angels from 2018-23.

Mizuhara recently pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud, doing so as a formality with negotiations with federal prosecutors looming as both sides attempt to reach a plea deal.

According to authorities, Mizuhara stole almost $17 million from Ohtani to pay off sports gambling debts.

The Dodgers fired Mizuhara, 39, on March 21 after news broke that Ohtani accused him of "massive theft." The money reportedly was wired from the Ohtani's bank accounts to Bowyer.

Mizuhara had been working with Ohtani in the United States since 2018, but Mizuhara was also by Ohtani's side when the two-way star played professionally in Japan.

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