Several reports have confirmed that All-Star shortstop Wander Franco was placed on administrative leave until further notice due to allegations of the 22-year-old having a romantic relationship with a minor.
In an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to his placement on the restricted list on August 14, which was extended on Monday while police in the Dominican Republic are investigating social media posts that suggest that the Rays star was involved with someone that was underage.
Today(August 22), MLB issued a statement per Franco’s situation, stating, “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. 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.”
The Rays put out their own statement following the MLB statement, which said, “We support Major League Baseball’s decision to place Wander Franco on administrative leave. The Tampa Bay Rays are dedicated to upholding high standards of integrity both on and off the field. We appreciate the understanding and patience of our fans and supporters as this process unfolds. We will have no further statements on this matter until MLB completes its process.”
Under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy collectively bargained by MLB and the MLBPA, players on administrative leave continue to receive their salary and Major League service time. The club continued to pay Franco his $2 million salary while he was on the restricted list the past week, part of the 11-year, $182 million guaranteed extension he signed following the 2021 season.
Franco totally denied the allegations in an IG Live video made in the Rays’ clubhouse before their August 13 game at Tropicana Field, but the last game Franco played was on August 12. He has not spoken publicly on the matter since then. He has reportedly hired an attorney in the United States and in the Dominican Republic.