Wander Franco of the Rays is being looked into by MLB

Tampa Bay Rays star Wander Franco has been placed on the restricted list and is under MLB investigation after social media posts surfaced. The team announced Monday that Franco and the club had mutually agreed to the placement. Franco will not travel with the team on its current road trip.

Wander Franco Under MLB Investigation

Franco did not play in Sunday’s 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians, though Rays manager Kevin Cash denied a connection to the posts. “I’m aware of the speculation. I’m not going to comment any further on that,” Cash said to the media after the loss. “But the day off was because (it was) a day off.”

In a team statement, the organization said: “During today’s game, we were made aware of the social media posts that are circulating regarding Wander Franco. We take the situation seriously and are in close contact with Major League Baseball as it conducts its due diligence.” Neither the organization nor the league has specified the nature of the posts; however, several viral posts made yesterday alleged that Franco was having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

This is a blow to the Rays’ depth before a six-game West Coast road trip. Tampa Bay will play the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels this week. In a move made before Sunday’s game, the Rays recalled infielder Osleivis Basabe from Triple-A Durham, and optioned relief pitcher Josh Fleming to Durham. Basabe went 1-for-3 with a double starting in Franco’s place.

How Does The Restricted List Work?

While the Franco investigation is ongoing, the infielder will reside on the MLB restricted list. The list is generally unpaid and is used by teams to address a player’s major infractions. This can include legal trouble, violations of club and league rules, substance abuse treatments, and more. The process of restriction is distinct from administrative leave, in which players are still paid. Franco will not be on the Rays roster while he is on the restricted list. He is hitting .281 with 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases this season and was an All-Star in July.

This is an incredibly serious situation, with little information available at this time. When more information is revealed, the next steps will become more clear. Until then, Franco will not play.

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