SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — When the Tampa Bay Rays take the field at Oracle Park this week, they will be without All-Star shortstop Wander Franco.
Less than two years after he was handed the largest contract in Rays history, Franco was placed on the restricted list on Monday and will be away from the team. Authorities in the Dominican Republic are investigating him for having an alleged relationship with a minor, the D.R.’s attorney general confirmed to the Associated Press.
Social media posts first accused the 22-year-old infielder of an improper relationship. Major League Baseball is investigating the situation as well.
“We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation. Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time,” the Rays said.
The Rays said the team and Franco “mutually agreed” to place him on the restricted list. He will not play in their three games in San Francisco or their next three in Anaheim.
Franco has established himself as one of MLB’s premier young players in 2023, hitting .281 with 46 extra-base hits and 30 stolen bases before being placed on leave. He is in the second year of an 11-year, $182 million contract.
The Rays boast one of MLB’s best records at 71-49. The Giants are 63-55, battling for one of the National League’s wild card spots.