Wednesday, June 19, 2024

MLB gambling scandal: Padres’ Tucupita Marcano under investigation, accused of betting on baseball, per report

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San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is under investigation by Major League Baseball for allegedly violating the league’s gambling policy, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the report, Marcano has been accused of gambling on Pirates games while he was on Pittsburgh’s injured list last year. If Marcano is found to have broken the rules, he faces a lifetime ban.

A spokesperson for MLB confirmed to CBS Sports Monday that Marcano is under investigation.

“We are aware of an active investigation by Major League Baseball regarding a matter that occurred when the player in question was a member of another organization and not affiliated with the San Diego Padres,” the Padres said in a statement to the WSJ. “We will not have any further comment until the investigative process has been completed.”

Four minor-league players have also been accused of gambling on MLB games, according to the Journal, which did not name them.

Marcano, 24, was signed by the Padres as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2016. He was traded to the Pirates in 2021 with Jack Suwinski for Adam Frazier and last November went back to the Padres on waivers. He hasn’t played a game in 2024 due to a torn ACL. 

MLB rules stipulate that players are permitted to legally gamble on non-diamond sports, but they cannot gamble on baseball or softball at any level. A player caught gambling on teams other than his own faces a one-year suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban if he’s found having gambled on his own team, as Marcano has been accused of.

Earlier this season, Ippei Mizuhara — Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter — was charged with stealing more than $16 million from Ohtani to pay off gambling debts to an illegal bookie. He faces a maximum of 33 years in prison. Braves minor-leaguer David Fletcher is also being investigated by MLB for placing bets with the same illegal bookmaker that Mizuhara used. Neither Mizuhara nor Fletcher is alleged to have gambled on baseball, but betting on any sport through illegal channels is also forbidden by MLB. 

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