Dodgers Rumors: Shohei Ohtani Remaining On Roster During MLB Investigation

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What had been widely perceived as inevitable was made official on Friday when MLB announced they had launched an investigation into Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhara amid the former interpreter’s alleged gambling activity with an illegal bookmaker.

“Earlier today, our Department of Investigations (DOI) began their formal process investigating the matter,” the league said in a statement.

Ohtani and Mizuhara have been under an intense microscope since the L.A. Times and ESPN published their accounts of illegal betting. The scandal prompted the Dodgers to fire Mizuhara between their Seoul Series games, which were overshadowed by a bomb threat and gambling scandal.

While MLB’s investigation involves the two-way superstar, the belief is Ohtani will remain on the Dodgers roster and eligible to play in games, per T.J. Quinn of ESPN:

Ohtani is expected to remain on the Dodgers’ active roster while the league’s investigation unfolds.

Ohtani was in the Dodgers lineup for the finale of the Seoul Series even as speculation and conspiracy theories of his involvement in Mizuhara’s betting ran rampant.

“Shohei’s ready. I know that he’s preparing in a hitter’s meeting right now and ready to go for tonight’s game,” manager Dave Roberts said Thursday.

Roberts added keeping Ohtani out of the Dodgers lineup was “not considered.”

Roberts otherwise declined to comment on the matter, along with what message Mizuhara delivered when speaking to the Dodgers clubhouse after their Opening Day game.

Ohtani also has not publicly addressed the ever-evolving situation.

Did Shohei Ohtani make bets?

The MLB policy included in the collective bargaining agreement prohibits “any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee” from betting on baseball in any capacity or making illegal bets involving other sports. With that, players found to have made illegal wagers on sports other than baseball are subject to punishment that is at the commissioner’s discretion.

MLB fined Miami Marlins’ Jarred Cosart in 2015 when they discovered he gambled illegally on sports other than baseball. Betting on baseball is punishable with a one-year ban.

To this point there has not been any indication Ohtani placed bets — legal or otherwise — on any sport, much less baseball.

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