MLB Probes Padres Player Tucupita Marcano Over Alleged Baseball Gambling

Baseball faces another gambling scandal involving active players

by Zain ul Abedin
MLB Probes Padres Player Tucupita Marcano Over Alleged Baseball Gambling
© Norm Hall/Getty Images

In a startling development, sources briefed on the probe indicate that Major League Baseball is looking into allegations that last season, while on the injured list with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano gambled on baseball games.

If true, it could bring a lifetime ban for Tucupita Marcano from MLB under the league's strict anti-gambling rules. But Tucupita Marcano isn't the only one. Four others, who weren't named, are also being disciplined by MLB for betting on games while playing in the minors, according to the source who revealed the existence of the probe to reporters.

A fresh round of gambling allegations recently hit baseball, which constitutes the latest incident of gambling infiltrating major pro sports leagues.

Padres Acknowledge Probe

"We are aware of an active MLB investigation regarding a matter that occurred when the player in question was a member of another organization, not the San Diego Padres," the team said in a statement, declining further comment pending the outcome of those investigations.

MLB and the players' union also declined comment on the ongoing probes. Under the sport's anti-gambling rules, which are conspicuous under Rule 21, any player caught betting on games that include their own gets a lifetime ban automatically.

If caught betting on other MLB or minor league games, players receive a year-long suspension. The punishments trace back to the infamous Pete Rose scandal, where the all-time hits leader was banned from baseball for life for gambling as a manager.

The charges brought against Tucupita Marcano and the four minor leaguers come in the wake of several other recent scandals that have hit sports due to gambling. One coming to light last week involved an interpreter for Shohei Ohtani, who stole millions to pay off gambling debts.

Meanwhile, in the past season, the NBA banned a player from betting on games. Tucupita Marcano, 24, hasn't played since July 2023 after tearing his ACL. It was in 60 games played last year when Marcano batted .233 with three home runs and 18 RBIs with Pittsburgh before being traded to San Diego's organization. Now, in the balance, as MLB continues its investigation, lies the future for the 24-year-old Venezuelan infielder.