Home Sports Braves’ David Fletcher continuing to play in minors amid reported MLB investigation into illegal bets

Braves’ David Fletcher continuing to play in minors amid reported MLB investigation into illegal bets

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ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 23: David Fletcher #22 of the Atlanta Braves makes a throw to first during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Truist Park on April 23, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)

David Fletcher continues to play in the Atlanta Braves’ minor league system as MLB investigates a report of him gambling illegally.

The infielder was in Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers lineup Tuesday, one day later ESPN reported MLB had opened an investigation into his involvement with illegal bookie Mathew Bowyer, the same bookie involved in the Ippei Mizuhara-Shohei Ohtani scandal.

It was previously reported that Fletcher had placed bets on sports with Bowyer, but not on baseball. However, placing illegal bets is still a violation of MLB rules, and punishment is at the discretion of Rob Manfred.

Another hot topic could be Fletcher’s close friend Colby Schultz, a former minor leaguer for the Kansas City Royals. Schultz was reported to have placed bets on baseball, including on Los Angeles Angels games in which Fletcher played. Schultz was also identified as “Bookie 3” in the criminal complaint against Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani’s former performer.

Fletcher was previously involved in the Mizuhara scandal, which culminated in the performer agreeing to plead guilty to two felonies after allegedly stealing $17 million from Ohtani. It was reportedly through Fletcher, Ohtani’s Angels teammate for six years, that Mizuhara met Bowyer at a poker game at the team hotel.

ESPN notes that MLB’s investigation will likely depend on information from the federal government, which has been investigating Bowyer for months, and Fletcher himself. The league is reportedly expected to ask authorities for help.

Fletcher may reportedly refuse to cooperate if he claims this could be the subject of a criminal investigation.

Even before her relationship with Bowyer was reported, it had been a bad year for Fletcher. His numbers took a step back in the three seasons after he signed a five-year, $26 million extension with the Angels. That slide culminated in a trade to the Braves last offseason, where he is little more than organizational depth.

Fletcher, 29, is hitting .244/.308/.261 in Triple-A this season and went 2-for-8 during a brief stint with the major league club last month.

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