Major League Baseball is looking into allegations tying Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart to gambling.
The 24-year-old, Texas-born right-hander — acquired by the Marlins at the trade deadline last July — deleted his official Twitter account Tuesday night after screenshots of purported direct messages from Cosart to a gambling expert were leaked by a third party using the same social media outlet.
MLB spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed Wednesday morning the commissioner’s office was investigating the matter.
“Major League baseball is aware and they are investigating it, and we have no further comment at this time,” Marlins spokesman Matt Roebuck said.
It’s unclear whether the allegations involving Cosart revolve around baseball or sports-betting on another sport. Players are allowed to legally gamble on sports other than baseball. But if it is proven that he was betting on baseball, there are stiff penalties.
“Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be declared ineligible for one year,” Rule 21 states.
“Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”
Phone calls by the Miami Herald to Cosart’s agent at Select Sports Group were not been returned.
Cosart went 4-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 10 starts for the Marlins after being acquired from Houston last season. He has struggled this spring, going 0-2 with an 8.49 ERA in four Grapefruit League starts.
The Marlins starting rotation, which won’t get staff ace Jose Fernandez until June at the earliest, has struggled overall this spring and could ill-afford to lose one of its top three arms.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Cosart has gotten himself into trouble on Twitter. Thirteen months ago, when he was still with the Astros, Cosart used a three-letter gay slur to refer to pop star Justin Beiber while communicating with a former teammate. He then apologized for it.
Cosart’s latest run-in with trouble began Tuesday night when a purported gambling expert on Twitter who goes by the handle @GhostFadeKillah tweeted out screenshots of direct messages between Cosart and a friend.
During the alleged conversation, Cosart says: “I bet LARGE. Shhhh lol lookin for some help anywhere I can … Saw a retweet on your under play and hammered it.”
After the story broke and became national news, the same Twitter user @GhostFadeKillah tweeted Wednesday morning: “Just to be clear Cosart was discussing college basketball bets on both occasions. Anyone making a baseball connection is reaching.”
Back in June 2005, a bookmaker contacted the Marlins to complain that catcher Paul Lo Duca owed him money. The Marlins then contacted MLB, which looked into the allegations. Lo Duca, who was investigated again the following season with the Mets, was never suspended.