Tuesday's roundup: Darvish denies gambling links

Associated Press

Arlington, Texas — Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish said he is not and has never been involved in gambling activities amid a Major League Baseball investigation after the arrest of his younger brother in Japan.

Darvish issued a statement through his agent Tuesday that says he understands MLB must conduct an investigation.

“I am certain that they will find that I had no involvement in this matter whatsoever,” Darvish said in the statement through his representatives at the Wasserman Media Group.

Sho Darvish was arrested in October in Japan for allegedly running an illegal gambling ring that reportedly took about 1,850 bets on MLB games as well as professional baseball games in Japan. The arrest came after an investigation of more than a year.

It was unclear if any bets were taken on games involving the Rangers.

The Japan Times said Osaka police have not accused Yu Darvish of any wrongdoing.

MLB spokesman Michael Teevan told the Japan Times in an email that the league is aware of situation and looking into it per standard protocols.

“I will not comment on this matter again out of respect for Major League Baseball’s investigation and I am focused on preparing for the upcoming season,” Yu Darvish said.

Darvish missed all of last season after having ligament replacement surgery in his right arm during spring training. The 29-year-old Darvish is not expected to be ready for the start of the season, but could be back sometime in May.

The Rangers signed Darvish from Japan before the 2012 season. In 83 starts from 2012-14, Darvish was 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA, with 680 strikeouts and 218 walks in 545 1-3 innings pitched.

Around the horn

Yu Darvish says he has never been involved in gambling activities, but otherwise isn’'t commenting on a Major League Baseball investigation after the arrest of his younger brother in Japan.

Right-hander Joe Blanton has agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with the Dodgers.

... Left-handed pitchers Justin Marks and Adam Wilk, a former Tiger, have agreed to minor league contracts with the Rays.