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October 03, 2018

Department of Justice reportedly investigating Gabe Kapler-era Dodgers’ player recruitment

Phillies manager, who previously worked as Los Angeles’ director of player development, did not return Sports Illustrated's request for comment

Investigations Phillies
080618_Phillies-Kapler_usat David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler subtly reminds those watching where his team currently sits in the NL East standings.

Here’s something: The U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly begun investigating tactics used by Major League Baseball teams to recruit players from Latin America, and the Dodgers are featured “prominently” in a dossier on the investigation, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.

Of note for Phillies fans: Manager Gabe Kapler was the Dodgers’ director of player development from 2014 to 2017, and information Sports Illustrated’s reporting uncovered in that dossier included events that took place during those years. 

One Kapler-era Dodgers note that stands out: A 2015 text conversation between Dodgers executives centered around shredding a contract signed with a player before MLB approved it. 

Sports Illustrated also reports multiple alleged victims of smuggling and human trafficking operations "have already given evidence to law enforcement agents or testified before a federal grand jury."

Kapler’s direct involvement in whatever it is the Department of Justice has decided to investigate is unclear, but Sports Illustrated apparently felt the need to reach out to the Phillies’ manager for comment while reporting its story. 

Kapler, fresh off his first season as a manager, did not return a Sports Illustrated reporter's message seeking comment.

According to Sports Illustrated, the files reporters obtained mentioned the league office and other teams as well, although those teams have not been made publicly known by Sports Illustrated.

To understand the scope and depth of the issue, check out SI's coverage here.


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