Report: Gabe Kapler Connection in FBI and Department of Justice Baseball Probe

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t heard by now, the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI are investigating the recruitment of foreign players by Major League Baseball teams.

Sports Illustrated acquired a ton of information about probe, which sounds pretty damn serious based on this early paragraph from their Tuesday write up:

Sports Illustrated has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice has begun a sweeping probe into possible corruption tied to the recruitment of international players, centered on potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. What’s more, SI has learned that multiple alleged victims of smuggling and human trafficking operations have already given evidence to law enforcement agents or testified before a federal grand jury.

Uh.. shit. Okay.

The Kapler connection is that the Dodgers are apparently frequently mentioned in a dossier given to the FBI, according to SI, and that’s where the current Phillies manager worked from 2014 to 2017 as LA’s Director of Player Development.

This passage from the SI story stands out:

One particularly remarkable document shows that Dodgers executives in 2015 went so far as to develop a database that measured the perceived “level of egregious behavior” displayed by 15 of their own employees in Latin America. That is, using a scale of 1 to 5—“innocent bystander” to “criminal”—front-office executives assessed their own staff’s level of corruption. Five employees garnered a “criminal” rating.

This also is relevant:

Internal communications by the Dodgers show concerns about what team officials called a “mafia” entrenched in their operations in the Caribbean and Venezuela, including a key employee who dealt “with the agents and buscones” and was “unbelievably corrupt.” Other personnel were suspected of being tied to “altered books” or “shady dealings,” according to the documents.

A buscone is a Dominican term which refers to people who basically connect young baseball players to MLB scouts. They identify players and peddle them to the scouts, then take home a portion of a signing bonus.

Is this a smoke/fire thing? Did Kapler do some bad stuff? No idea, but we’ll see what the FBI and DOJ come up with moving forward.

Sports Illustrated says they reached out to Gabe for comment but that he did not return their messages.

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