Major League Baseball has placed Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco on indefinite paid administrative leave as it continues an investigation into allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a girl or multiple girls that were underage.
MLB Insider Hector Gomez reported a different minor filed a complaint against Franco in the Dominican Republic. That is now also under investigation, per the Associated Press.
“The administrative leave, effective immediately, is not disciplinary under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. We will comment further at the appropriate time,” MLB said in a statement
According to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, Franco’s postseason eligibility “has not been ruled out.”
Franco did not play in the Rays’ Aug. 13th loss to the Cleveland Guardians and left the dugout in the fifth inning. It was the same day the team had a special event where kids under 14 could receive a gift.
Franco, a 2023 American League All-Star, was having his best season as a major leaguer, hitting .281 with 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases, when the allegations surfaced in a series of social media posts.
Franco is under contract with the Rays through 2032 with a club option for 2033.
The team is in the midst of a dream season but losing one of their best players is sure to throw a monkey wrench in their plans.
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