Major League Baseball announced this morning that Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been placed on administrative leave, as agreed upon by the league and the MLB Players Association. It’s standard procedure for players who are being investigated under the joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. Administrative leave is not considered punitive, and players continue to be paid and accrue service time while on leave (though both can be rescinded in the event of an eventual suspension). There’s no set length for administrative leave, which can last as long as an investigation into a matter takes. The leave is typically extended week-by-week until the investigation has been completed.
Franco is under investigation by Major League Baseball after allegations of an inappropriate relationship between him and a minor surfaced on social media. The Rays placed him on the team’s restricted list during the recent road trip. Prosecutors in Franco’s native Dominican Republic are also reportedly evaluating the allegations against the star shortstop.
Franco, 22, has pledged his innocence to teammates and also posted a since-deleted video to Instagram wherein he denied the allegations against him. Further details regarding the investigation are sparse. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has yet to publicly comment on the status of the investigation.
The Rays issued this statement following today’s announcement from MLB:
“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.”