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Padres infielder under investigation by MLB for gambling on baseball, source says

Updated June 3, 2024 - 2:02 pm

NEW YORK — San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is under investigation by Major League Baseball for allegedly betting on baseball and could be subject to a possible lifetime ban, according to a person familiar with the probe.

MLB is looking into allegations Marcano bet on games involving the Pittsburgh Pirates while on the team’s injured list last season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Marcano, 24, has not played since tearing his right ACL last July 24. He was claimed by the Padres off waivers on Nov. 2 and placed on the 10-day injured list March 19.

MLB’s investigation was first reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal.

“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 team said in a statement. “We will not have any further comment until the investigative process has been completed.”

Marcano’s agent, Michel Velasquez of Rimas Sports, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The Major League Baseball Players Association declined to comment.

Major League Rule 21, posted in every clubhouse, states betting on any baseball game in which a player, umpire, league official or team employee has no duty to perform results in a one-year suspension.

Betting on a game in which the person has a duty to perform results in a lifetime ban.

In addition, betting on other sports with an illegal bookmaker is subject to discipline deemed appropriate by the baseball commissioner.

Career hits leader Pete Rose agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an MLB investigation concluded he bet on Cincinnati Reds games while managing the team.

The last active MLB player suspended under the gambling provision appears to be New York Giants outfielder Jimmy O’Connell, banned for life along with coach Cozy Dolan in 1924 for offering a $500 bribe to Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Heinie Sand to throw a game that Sept. 27.

Marcano made his major league debut on April 1, 2021, and has a .217 average with five homers, 34 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 149 games. He has played in both the infield and outfield.

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