San Diego Padres Player Banned By MLB For Life Over Astonishing Gambling Accusations

San Diego Padres logo and jersey patch shown.San Diego Padres logo (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball has handed a San Diego Padres infielder a lifetime ban over gambling violations, ending his professional career at just 24 years of age.

On Tuesday, the league announced punishments for five MLB players for sports betting violations. Those players are Tucupita Marcano of the San Diego Padres (a lifetime ban), Michael Kelly of the Oakland Athletics, Jay Groome (Padres), Andrew Saalfrank (Arizona Diamondbacks) and José Rodríguez (Philadelphia Phillies).

The league has permanently banned Marcano after discovering that he placed a whopping 231 MLB bets from Oct. 16, 2022, to Nov. 1, 2023. According to MLB, Marcano wagered over $150,000 on MLB games, including 25 wagers when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates:

“Consistent with Marcano’s overall baseball betting activity, almost all of Marcano’s Pirates bets were on which Club (the Pirates or their opponent) would win the game or whether there would be more or less than a certain number of runs scored in the game. Ultimately, Marcano lost all of his parlays involving the Pirates and only won 4.3% of all of his MLB-related bets overall.

There is no evidence to suggest — and Marcano denies — that any outcomes in the baseball games on which he placed bets were compromised, influenced, or manipulated in any way.”

Sadly, these five MLB players aren’t the only professional athletes to land in hot water for gambling violations. NFL star wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the 2022 season, taking a year off his prime.

Jontay Porter of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors was hit with a lifetime ban this year for gambling, and NHL star Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators was suspended 41 games for violating the league’s rules.

Not to mention that MLB legend Pete Rose isn’t in the Hall of Fame strictly because of his gambling scandal.

Tucupita Marcano’s Run With San Diego Padres Ends Abruptly

The 24-year-old Marcano broke into the majors as a 21-year-old in 2021, appearing in 25 games for the San Diego Padres. He spent the next two seasons with the Pirates, posting a career MLB batting average of .217 with a .589 OPS, five homers and 34 RBI.

The Padres brought back Marcano on a new deal last year. He never played a game during the 2024 regular season as he recovered from surgery on a torn ACL.

Unfortunately, Marcano’s gambling habits have taken away the dream of growing into a full-time MLB starter. It’s another strong reminder for young athletes about the dangers of sports betting.


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