Wander Franco On MLB’s Restricted List As Investigation into Alleged Relationship With Minor Continues
Baseball star Wander Franco has been placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list after the attorney general in the Dominican Republic confirmed an investigation into his alleged romance with a minor, the Associated Press reports.
The investigation follows alleged social media posts that suggest Franco was in a relationship with a 14-year-old girl. The Rays said they were “made aware” of the social media posts about Franco on Sunday and said Major League Baseball was conducting “due diligence” about the matter, according to CBS Sports.
The Rays and Franco, their 22-year-old, highly paid All-Star shortstop, have “mutually agreed” that he go on the restricted list where he will miss at least six games.
“The Tampa Bay Rays and Wander Franco have mutually agreed that he will go on the Restricted List and take leave from the club for the duration of the current road trip,” the team said in a short one-sentence statement.
Franco did not play in Sunday’s home series finale against Cleveland at Tropicana Field. He wasn’t present for the start of the Rays’ six-game road trip that began Monday night against the San Francisco Giants.
“We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation,” the team said.
“Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time,” the team added.
Franco will be paid during his time on the restricted list. He signed an 11-year extension with the Rays in November 2021 and was selected to play his first All-Star Game this season. The Dominican Republic native is currently hitting .281/.344/.475 in 112 games.
Tampa Bay’s top prospect Osleivis Basabe, 22 started Sunday at shortstop in his major league debut and played again in Monday’s series opener in San Francisco.