Rays’ Wander Franco placed on administrative leave through June 1 as sexual abuse probe continues

Wander Franco

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay All-Star shortstop Wander Franco was positioned on administrative depart by way of June 1 below an settlement between Main League Baseball and the gamers’ affiliation whereas the investigation continues in an alleged relationship with a minor.

Administrative depart shouldn’t be disciplinary below the game’s joint home violence, sexual assault and baby abuse coverage, and a participant continues to be paid. Franco, who has a $2 million wage this yr, has remained in his native Dominican Republic whereas authorities there examine and didn’t report back to spring coaching.

The Rays open the season Thursday towards Toronto, forcing MLB and the union to decide on Franco’s roster standing.

Franco has not performed since Aug. 12. He was positioned on the restricted listing for per week on Aug. 14 whereas MLB launched an investigation following social media posts suggesting Franco was in a relationship with a minor. The AP has not been capable of confirm the reported posts.

Franco was moved to administrative depart on Aug. 22 and remained there by way of the tip of the season. There isn’t a depart in the course of the offseason.

MLB is more likely to wait till the Dominican investigation is concluded earlier than deciding whether or not there might be any self-discipline.

Initially accused of economic and sexual exploitation and cash laundering — costs that carry as much as 30 years, 10 years and 20 years of jail respectively — Franco stands accused as an alternative of sexual and psychological abuse, in line with a decide’s decision that The Related Press obtained in January.

Franco had not been formally accused, but when discovered responsible on the brand new cost, he may face between two to 5 years in jail.

Franco, who turned 23 on March 1, was within the midst of his third main league season when his profession was halted and was hitting .281 with 17 homers, 58 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 40 makes an attempt over 112 video games.

Franco agreed to a $182 million, 11-year contract in November 2021.

He earned $706,761 final yr along with his wage as a part of MLB’s pre-arbitration bonus pool, a fund agreed to by the league and gamers’ affiliation as a part of their 2022 labor contract. The bonus pool was created to reward younger gamers, most who earn at or simply above the minimal main league wage based mostly on how lengthy they’ve been within the huge leagues.

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