FILE - In this March 25, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts before striking out for the second time during a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Fla. Major League Baseball plans to interview Rodriguez as it investigates allegations the Yankees star took part in illegal celebrity poker games. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)AP2010
Major League Baseball will interview Yankees' star Alex Rodríguez as part of its investigation of his alleged involvement in high stakes illegal poker games.
"We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation," MLB said Wednesday in a statement. "As part of the investigation, the commissioner's office will interview Mr. Rodríguez."
Rodríguez also faced questions about his gambling habits in 2005, when the Daily News reported he attended games at an underground poker club in New York. The slugging third baseman later acknowledged "it wasn't the right thing to do," and checked with MLB before holding a charity poker tournament the following year.
Rodríguez is on the disabled list and wasn't with the team Wednesday night in Chicago.
Star Magazine reported last month that several people saw A-Rod playing at one of the star-studded games that were hosted at Hollywood hotels and private residences. Allegedly, A-Rod was seen at one time playing in a separate high-stakes game recently that had a $40,000 buy-in.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Tobey Maguire reportedly participated in the games.
His publicist denied that Rodríguez participated.
Rodríguez's name is not mentioned in any court filings in relation to the games.
MLB said at the time that the report was the first the commissioner's office had heard about the accusation and baseball officials would look into the matter.
A spokesman for the Yankees declined comment when asked about Rodríguez on Wednesday. A message was left seeking comment from Richard Rubenstein, Rodríguez's publicist.
The 36-year-old Rodríguez had right knee surgery on July 14 but is expected to resume baseball activities on Thursday at the Yankees' facility in Florida. The three-time AL MVP is hitting .295 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs this season.
Rodríguez ranks sixth on the career homer list with 626. He needs 137 to break Barry Bonds' record.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.