Rays’ Wander Franco on administrative leave amid allegations of inappropriate relationship with minor

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 12: Wander Franco #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Tropicana Field on August 12, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Rays’ star shortstop Wander Franco won’t be taking the field any time soon. 

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced that Franco had been placed on administrative leave as it continues an ongoing investigation into allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor. 

He has been out of the line-up since the news broke last week. 

Franco was placed on the restricted list on Aug. 14 after social media posts surfaced the previous day saying he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor, leading to formal investigations by major league baseball and authorities in his native Dominican Republic. 

The attorney general’s office in the Dominican Republic has since acknowledged there have been allegations from at least two minors.

In a statement on Tuesday, MLB shared, "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."

Franco has retained legal counsel in the Dominican Republic while also hiring an attorney in the United States. 

He's made no public statement regarding the allegations since reacting in an Instagram live last Sunday where he said, "People don’t know what to do with their time. They don’t know what they’re talking about. That’s why I prefer to be on my side and not get involved with anybody."