MLB places Rays SS Wander Franco on administrative leave amid investigation

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)
MLB has placed Rays shortstop Wander Franco on non-disciplinary administrative leave as it conducts an investigation into allegations against him. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

MLB announced Tuesday that it has placed Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco on administrative leave, effective immediately.

"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.

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."