Report: Former Minor Leaguer Peter Bayer Made Over 100 Baseball-Related Bets in 2020

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 27, 2023

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 13: An official major league baseball sits in a player's glove on the grass prior to the game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Los Angeles Angels at Progressive Field on September 13, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Investigators for MLB say former minor league Peter Bayer placed more than 100 wagers between May and August 2020, according to The Athletic's Stephen J. Nesbitt.

On Feb. 15, Bayer said he had been on MLB's ineligible list since the start of the 2021 season. He said he legally bet on games in 2020 after the minor league season was canceled but "never once bet on baseball when physically playing."

Peter Bayer @PeterBayer47

Some personal news: <br><br>Since the beginning of the 2021, I have been on the MLB Ineligible List due to placing wagers on a few MLB games during the 2020 COVID year when MILB did not have a season. <br><br>I am currently still ineligible for the 2023 season, a third straight year. <a href="https://t.co/623z0s6BXk">pic.twitter.com/623z0s6BXk</a>

"Bayer said in a Feb. 15 interview with The Athletic the extent of his baseball-related betting was fewer than 20 wagers in July and August of that year, though in a later interview he upped the number to 30," Nesbitt reported.

Per Nesbitt, Bayer added he often bet in small increments—between $20 and $50—and only placed two bets involving the Oakland Athletics, his MLB organization at the time.

However, a letter from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred cited "over 100 baseball-related wagers" and "at least 12 wagers involving the Athletics and at least 25 wagers of $1,000 or more," per Nesbitt.

Bayer denied the allegations and told Nesbitt he "pretty much should have been treated as if I was a normal citizen" when the 2020 minor league season was suspended.

"We weren't playing. We weren't under contract," he said. "There was a lot of weirdness to it."

In March 2020, Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein profiled Bayer as he worked for DoorDash to help supplement his income during the pandemic. Even under normal circumstances, it's a common story for many minor leaguers to make ends meet.

But betting on baseball remains a cardinal sin in MLB, even with many states legalizing sports gambling.

Bayer will now have to wait another year for his possible return. He's eligible to apply for reinstatement once the 2023 World Series concludes.

The right-hander split his time in 2022 between the Pioneer League and the Mexican League. He pitched a total of 42.2 innings, allowing 38 earned runs and striking out 60 batters.