Tampa Bay Rays’ Wander Franco Placed on Administrative Leave Amid Investigation

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Image Credit: The Associated Press

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced on Tuesday that Wander Franco, the star shortstop of the Tampa Bay Rays, has been placed on administrative leave “until further notice” as the league continues its investigation into allegations against him. Franco, 22, has been on the restricted list since August 14, following social media posts about inappropriate relationships with underage individuals. MLB clarified that Franco is not being disciplined under the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy at this time.

In addition to MLB’s investigation, it was reported by The Associated Press that Franco is also under investigation in the Dominican Republic by a division specializing in minors and gender violence. The change in Franco’s MLB status will have little practical effect as he has not played in a game since August 12. Placing him on administrative leave aligns with how the league handled the investigation of Trevor Bauer, a former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher accused of sexual assault.

Under administrative leave, a player is removed from the team’s roster but continues to be paid. The leave can be extended indefinitely with approval from the players’ union. In Bauer’s case, the leave lasted through the second half of the 2021 season, and he was ultimately suspended for 324 games. Bauer forfeited $37 million in overall salary and was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers upon his reinstatement. He is currently playing in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

Wander Franco, an All-Star for the first time this season, has been considered a cornerstone of the Rays franchise. In November 2021, Tampa Bay signed him to a contract guaranteeing him $182 million over 11 years. Franco is currently in the second year of that contract. MLB stated it would provide further comments at the appropriate time regarding the investigation.


Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

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