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Rays’ Wander Franco placed on administrative leave amid probe into alleged relationship with minor

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Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been placed on administrative leave through June 1 amid an investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

The decision was reached Thursday under an agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association, The Associated Press reported. 

The 23-year-old All-Star was removed from the 40-man roster as the Rays prepare to open the season against the Toronto Blue Jays. News of the decision was first reported by The Tampa Bay Times. 

The move was later recorded on MLB’s transaction wire.

Franco was arrested in his native Dominican Republic earlier this year after previously being placed on administrative leave in August as MLB investigated allegations that he had maintained an inappropriate relationship with a minor when he was 21. 

He was later released under the condition that he meet with local authorities once a month. 

Wander Franco in the DR


Originally accused of commercial and sexual exploitation and money laundering — charges that carry up to 30 years, 10 years and 20 years of prison respectively — Franco stands accused instead of sexual and psychological abuse, according to a judge’s resolution that The Associated Press obtained in January.

He has not been formally charged. Sources told ESPN that Thursday’s agreement allows MLB to change Franco’s status with the league if there are further developments in the case. 

Wander Franco vs Guardians

Franco, who last played in a game Aug. 12, signed an 11-year, $182 million contract extension in November 2021. He is due to earn $2 million this season and is under contract through 2032. 

MLB will likely wait to make a decision with its investigation until the criminal investigation in the Dominican Republic is complete. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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