Rays Shortstop Wander Franco Placed on Administrative Leave Amid Underage Relationship Investigation

Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been placed on administrative leave through June 1 as an ongoing investigation into an alleged relationship with an underage girl unfolds. The decision was made by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, removing Franco from the 40-man roster. The Tampa Bay Times first reported this development.

Franco, who has not been charged with a crime, has been away from the team since August when the allegations of a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl surfaced. He did not participate in spring training and has been residing in his native Dominican Republic, where he is under investigation for allegations of sexual and psychological abuse. The Associated Press reports that Franco is required to make monthly court appearances as the investigation continues.

The administrative leave, initially set to end on June 1, may be extended if there are no updates in the investigation by the deadline. MLB is expected to wait until after the investigation concludes before deciding on any disciplinary actions, according to the Associated Press.

The timing of this decision, just hours before the Rays’ season opener against the Blue Jays, was crucial for the team to finalize their roster. By placing Franco on the administrative list, he will continue to receive his salary. Franco is set to earn $2 million this year, the final year of his 11-year, $182 million contract with the Rays, leaving approximately $175 million still owed to him.

At 23 years old, Franco has emerged as one of the Rays’ top players, boasting an .819 OPS last season with 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases.

Author: CrimeDoor

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