The question rolled in to Yahoo Sports via text from a veteran scout. A person whose livelihood revolves around information and the gathering of it. The type that is typically in the know, in the loop, in the mix — or at least, on the periphery of it.

“What do you got on Shohei today?”

That type of inquiry represents the atmosphere permeating the baseball world right now — one of curiosity and confusion. MLB’s brightest supernova, a two-way dynamo with two MVP awards and a hot-off-the-presses $700 million contract from the Los Angeles Dodgers, has found himself linked to a federal gambling scandal involving his longtime interpreter and friend, Ippei Mizuhara.

Former Red Sox interpreter Ippei Mizuhara being investigated by Major  League Baseball

In the days before Ohtani addressed the media on Monday, the lack of meaningful information only fanned the flames of speculation and conjecture. Following his delivery of a prewritten statement via new interpreter Will Ireton, Ohtani remains the subject of intense controversy, even after portraying himself as the victim of a crime at the hands of Mizuhara. His comments Monday painted a picture of how Ohtani and his legal representatives plan to move forward — full denial, complete legal innocence, scorched earth on Ippei — but with stateside Opening Day just three sleeps away, there are still way more questions than answers about Mizuhara, Ohtani and the most substantial gambling scandal to rock Major League Baseball since Pete Rose was suspended in 1989 for betting on games.

Through it all, a perplexed baseball world can’t help but rubberneck and wonder.Former Red Sox interpreter Ippei Mizuhara being investigated by Major  League Baseball

After the news broke Wednesday, amid conflicting stories and a lack of concrete facts, speculation reigned supreme. The most popular conspiracy theory among baseball people, though entirely unsubstantiated and vehemently denied by Ohtani on Monday, was that the $700 million dollar man was the real gambler and he paid off Mizuhara to take the fall. Others within the industry, while skeptical that the two-time AL MVP was wagering on sports, thought Ohtani must have known about his interpreter’s debts.

But the overwhelming consensus within the industry, even before Ohtani’s attempt to set the record straight, was that Ohtani is not a gambling man.

“Ohtani does not give a f*** about other sports like that,” a former teammate told Yahoo Sports. “I’ve seen him in the clubhouse, planes, buses. This man spends his time talking to people about his swing, watching his swing, watching bullpens. This man is obsessed with baseball. He is not cooking up PrizePick parlays.”

Said a different, retired big leaguer: “Zero chance he was gambling. He’s a machine.”

Why It Will Be Difficult For Shohei Ohtani To Stay Clean In The Gambling  Scandal

In all of this, the most damning scenario, the disaster of disasters, was the notion that the game’s best player was wagering on MLB games. That seems even more far-fetched now, after Ohtani so unwaveringly denied any involvement with bookmaker Mathew Bowyer’s alleged illegal operation.

It’s worth noting that gambling on non-baseball games — which, again, Ohtani has denied doing — is both commonplace and legal in 40 states. Most, if not all, MLB teams have fantasy football leagues with money involved. On fall weekends, clubhouses are awash in conversations about college football over/unders.

But baseball? That’s out of the question. Even as gambling has grown more pervasive in American sports and become normalized within MLB clubhouses, the consensus among the MLB players Yahoo Sports spoke with is that nobody — let alone a superstar with a $700 million contract — is actively gambling on baseball games.

“No one is dumb enough to bet on baseball anymore,” a different former teammate said.