Ex-Angel David Fletcher under MLB investigation for alleged ties to bookie in Shohei Ohtani interpreter scandal: report

An MLB investigation into ex-Angels infielder David Fletcher’s alleged ties to the illegal bookmaker at the center of the Shohei Ohtani interpreter scandal is reportedly underway.

The league began its probe Monday, according to ESPN, which reported last week that Fletcher bet on multiple sports other than baseball through bookie Mathew Bowyer.

“Government cooperation will be crucial in a case like this where we don’t have evidence,” an unnamed MLB source told ESPN.

Now a member of the Braves’ organization, Fletcher played with Ohtani on the Angels from 2018-23.

Ohtani’s now-fired translator, Ippei Mizuhara, is accused by federal prosecutors of stealing more than $16 million from Ohtani to “pay off his own substantial gambling debts incurred with an illegal bookmaking operation,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California said last month.

Mizuhara worked with Ohtani during the superstar’s stint with the Angels, then joined Ohtani when he signed with the Dodgers in the offseason. Mizuhara was fired in March and has since been charged with bank fraud.

Ohtani, whom ESPN reports is close friends with Fletcher, has denied betting on sports or being aware of Mizuhara doing so.

MLB allows its players to gamble on sports other than baseball through legal bookmakers. Fletcher is not accused of betting on baseball.

Sources told ESPN that Colby Schultz, a former minor leaguer in the Royals’ organization, bet on baseball. Those bets allegedly included Angels games when Fletcher, his close friend, was with the team.

Fletcher, a career .276 hitter, has appeared in five games with the Braves this year but has primarily played at Triple-A, where he is doubling as a reliever for the first time in his career.

The hitting-and-pitching Ohtani, a two-time American League MVP, spent his first six MLB seasons with the Angels from 2017-23 before joining the Dodgers in December on a 10-year, $700 million contract featuring heavily deferred money.