Padres’ Tucupita Marcano Gets Lifetime Ban for Betting on Baseball, 4 Other Players Get 1-Year Suspensions

Major League Baseball said an investigation found that Marcano allegedly placed hundreds of bets on baseball games

<p>Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty</p> Tucupita Marcano

Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty

Tucupita Marcano
  • The MLB has permanently banned pitcher Tucupita Marcano after an investigation found that he placed hundreds of bets on baseball games

  • Marcano allegedly placed most of the bets while he was receiving treatment for a season-ending knee injury in 2023

  • The league said a legal sports betting operator approached them with findings of suspicious betting activity in March 2024

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced a lifetime ban for Tucupita Marcano on Tuesday, June 4 after an investigation discovered the Padres infielder placed hundreds of bets on baseball games.

In a statement from the MLB, the league said its Department of Investigations is taking disciplinary action against Marcano, 24, and four additional players from the major and minor leagues for violating the MLB's sports betting rules and policies.

According to the league's statement, a legal sports betting operator found "betting activity from accounts connected to multiple Major and Minor League players" in March 2024, prompting the investigation.

The other players involved are Minor League players Jay Groome, José Rodriguez and Andrew Saalfrank, and Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly.

"MLB’s investigations included interviews, thorough review of the available information in each matter, and significant cooperation from MLB’s legal sportsbook partners," the league's statement said on Tuesday.

Related: Raptors' Jontay Porter Gets Lifetime Ban from NBA for Violating League Betting Rules

Marcano allegedly placed 387 bets on baseball games between Oct. 2022 and Nov. 2023, 231 of which pertained to MLB-related bets. "In total, Marcano bet more than $150,000 on baseball, with $87,319 of that on MLB-related bets (an average of approximately $378 per bet)," the MLB shared in the statement.

Moreover, Marcano was found to have placed 25 bets on Pittsburgh Pirates games while he was playing for the club. The MLB said the pitcher did not play in the games on which he gambled because the bets were made during the period coinciding with Marcano's season-ending knee injury in July 2023. He was reportedly receiving medical treatment at PNC Park at the time, per the MLB.

<p>Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty</p> Tucupita Marcano

Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Tucupita Marcano

According to the MLB, the pitcher "lost all of his parlays involving the Pirates and only won 4.3% of all of his MLB-related bets overall."

Per MLB rules, players, umpires, club or league officials and employees will receive one-year bans if they bet on games in which they have "no duty to perform," but if bets are placed on games in which the person "has a duty to perform," the bettor "shall be declared permanently ineligible."

League commissioner Robert D. Manfred issued a statement following Marcano's ban on Tuesday. “The strict enforcement of Major League Baseball’s rules and policies governing gambling conduct is a critical component of upholding our most important priority: protecting the integrity of our games for the fans," Manfred said.

Related: Colts' Isaiah Rodgers Takes 'Full Responsibility' amid NFL Betting Investigation: 'I Am Very Sorry'

"The longstanding prohibition against betting on Major League Baseball games by those in the sport has been a bedrock principle for over a century. We have been clear that the privilege of playing in baseball comes with a responsibility to refrain from engaging in certain types of behavior that are legal for other people," the commissioner's statement continued.

Manfred said the MLB has worked with licensed sports betting operators "and other third parties" since the Supreme Court decision "opened the door to legalized sports betting" to put the league "in a better position from an integrity perspective through the transparency that a regulated sports betting system can provide."

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The commissioner concluded his statement by saying the league will "continue to invest heavily in integrity monitoring, educational programming and awareness initiatives with the goal of ensuring strict adherence to this fundamental rule of our game.”

The league said all of the players penalized by the MLB have denied having inside information on games they placed bets on, and Marcano has denied that any of the outcomes on games in which he placed bets were "compromised, influenced or manipulated in any way." The league said this is consistent with the investigation's findings and that there was no evidence to suggest the outcome of the games were affected by bets.

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