Yu Darvish Reportedly Cleared in MLB Gambling Investigation

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2016

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish of Japan watches from the dugout during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Major League Baseball has cleared Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish of any potential wrongdoing relating to his brother's alleged illegal gambling operation in Japan, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson reported. 

According to the Japan Times (via the New York Daily News), Darvish's brother, Sho Darvish, was arrested last October after a lengthy investigation allegedly pegged him as the ringleader of a gambling operation that fielded bets on MLB games. 

Citing a source, the New York Daily NewsAnthony McCarron reported MLB's investigation was "part of standard operating procedure."

When the story initially broke, Darvish denied any wrongdoing in a statement provided by his representatives at Wasserman Media Group. 

"I am not and have never been involved with gambling activities," Darvish said, per McCarron. "While I understand that Major League Baseball must conduct an investigation, I am certain that they will find that I had no involvement in this matter whatsoever."

Now that he's been cleared, Darvish can refocus all of his attention on returning to the mound better than ever. After making three All-Star appearances in his first three MLB seasons, Darvish was sidelined for the entire 2015 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. 

Should Darvish flash vintage form when he hits the rubber again, the Rangers figure to wield one of MLB's most dynamic one-two pitching punches.

Along with southpaw Cole Hamels, Darvish can help elevate the Rangers to title-contending status in the American League one year after they made a late-season run that resulted in the AL West crown.