The Tampa Bay Rays and shortstop Wander Franco have mutually agreed that Franco will go on the restricted list, the team announced on Monday. Major League Baseball is investigating allegations made against Franco on social media. Franco will be on the restricted list at least through the club's six-game road trip that started Monday night.
Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Dominican Republic authorities are investigating Franco for an alleged relationship with a minor, confirmed by the office of the attorney general.
"There are investigations regarding that matter," the Dominican Republic attorney general said (via AP).
"We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation," the Rays said in a statement on Monday. "Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time."
The Rays said they were "made aware" of social media posts about Franco on Sunday and initially said Major League Baseball was conducting "due diligence" about the matter. Franco will be paid during his time on the restricted list, CBS Sports HQ's Jim Bowden confirmed.
The team's road trip began Monday night in San Francisco and concludes on Aug. 20. Franco did not travel with the team on Sunday night as the Rays flew to California.
Franco was out of the lineup on Sunday against Cleveland, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said that was because of a scheduled day off. Instead of Franco getting the nod at shortstop on Sunday, the Rays deployed debuting infielder Osleivis Basabe in a 9-2 loss. The Rays had only recalled Basabe prior to the game, demoting lefty Josh Fleming in the process.
Franco, 22, signed an 11-year extension with the Rays in November 2021. He was selected to his first All-Star Game this season and is hitting .281/.344/.475 in 112 games.