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Credit: Peter Biello / GPB News

Braves second baseman David Fletcher also placed bets with former Shohei Ohtani interpreter Ippei Mizuhara’s illegal bookmaker, according to a report from ESPN’s Tisha Thompson. 

Sources close to the investigation told Thompson that Fletcher, who was a former infielder for the Los Angeles Angels and is currently with the Braves Triple-A affiliate, bet on multiple sports through Mizuhara’s illegal bookmaker, Mathew Bowyer. While Fletcher never placed bets on baseball, his close friend, Colby Schultz, who played in the Kansas City Royals system from 2018-2020, did, including on Angels games that Fletcher played in. 

Betting on other sports is not illegal according to MLB rules as long as the bets are not placed with illegal bookmakers such as Bowyer. Players who place such bets are subject to discipline at the discretion of the commissioner’s office. A player who bets on baseball games that they did not play in will receive a one-year suspension; if they bet on a game they played in, they are banned from the league permanently

During his time with the Angels, Fletcher was described as close friends with Ohtani and they frequently talked. Schultz is a childhood friend of Fletcher and the two grew up together in Orange County, CA. Fletcher was acquired from the Angels in December along with catcher Max Stassi in exchange for first baseman Evan White and left-handed reliever Tyler Thomas.

Fletcher has denied placing bets with Bowyer, but has admitted to knowing Bowyer and interacting with him several times in social settings in a March 18 interview with ESPN. Fletcher did not respond to multiple requests for comment and started Friday’s game with the Gwinnett Stripers.