MLB announced Tuesday that it has placed Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco on administrative leave, effective immediately.
— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) August 22, 2023
"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 not played since Aug. 12, when social media posts surfaced that alleged he had been in a relationship with at least one underage girl. The Rays placed him on the restricted list as MLB began its investigation, and now, eight days later, MLB has put him on administrative leave.
MLB was careful to say that Franco's administrative leave is not disciplinary (it's part of MLB's investigative process), and he will continue to be paid and accrue service time while he's not playing.
MLB might not be the only officials investigating Franco. Police from the Dominican Republic, where Franco is from, are also reportedly investigating. The Associated Press reported last week that the investigation in the Dominican is being handled by the minors and gender violence unit. ESPN's Jeff Passan also reported that Franco is being investigated by authorities in his native country.
Major League Baseball has placed Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco on administrative leave as the league and authorities in the Dominican Republic investigate Franco's alleged relationships with underaged girls, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 22, 2023
The Rays released a statement Tuesday in support of MLB's decision to place Franco on administrative leave.
"We support Major League Baseball’s decision to place Wander Franco on Administration 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."