Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was placed on administrative leave following an agreement between Major League Baseball and its players association.
Franco was placed on the restricted list by the Rays on Aug. 14 as MLB launched an investigation into social media posts indicating Franco was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
He’s the subject of a criminal investigation being conducted by the Dominican Republic’s National Agency for Boys, Girls, Adolescents and Family and Gender Violence Unit.
Franco will be paid and accrue service time during leave.
“Per an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, Wander Franco has been placed on Administrative Leave until further notice as MLB continues its ongoing investigation,” MLB said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
Franco, 22, denied the allegations in an Instagram Live post that he later deleted.
Franco has seven days to challenge being placed on administrative leave, according to ESPN.
Franco is in the second year of an 11-year, $182 million contract he received from the Rays after the 2021 season. That year, he finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting despite playing in just 70 regular-season games.
He made the AL All-Star team for the first time this year. This season, he has a .281 batting average, a .344 on-base percentage, a .475 slugging percentage, 17 homers, 58 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 112 games.
He has a .282/.340/.454 career batting line with 30 homers, 130 RBIs and 40 steals in 265 games.
—Field Level Media
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