The 22-year-old Wander Franco All-Star did not board the team flight to San Francisco in advance of the Rays’ series against the Giants, sources told ESPN, because Major League Baseball was investigating into social media posts involving Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco.
The Rays released a statement on Sunday saying, “During today’s game, we were made aware of the social media posts that are circulating regarding Wander Franco.”
We are in close contact with Major League Baseball as it performs its due diligence and take the situation seriously.
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The substance of the social media posts was not specified by Tampa Bay.
Franco may be put on the restricted list or placed on administrative leave while MLB investigates the social media posts to confirm the details.
When asked by ESPN why Franco wasn’t on the team plane, the Rays declined to answer.
Franco, who sat out Sunday’s game against Cleveland, started the game in the Rays’ bench before leaving in the fifth inning. After Tampa Bay’s 9-2 defeat, he avoided talking to the media.
The Wander Franco snapback hat for fans aged 14 and younger was the Sunday promotion at Tropicana Field.
After the game, Rays manager Kevin Cash was questioned about whether Franco’s decision to sit out was anything more than just a regular day off. Cash answered, “No.”
I’m aware of the rumors, but I won’t say anything more about them, Cash stated. The day off was taken because it was a holiday.
Osleivis Basabe was promoted by the Rays and will make his main league debut at shortstop.
Basa be, who had a 1-for-3 performance with a double on Saturday night with Triple-A Durham, was informed that he had been promoted.
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Teams have employed the restricted list, in which a player is removed from the roster and typically not paid, for a number of reasons, including treatment for substance addiction, arrests, failure to report, problems with visas, and at the request of players to resolve particular problems.
The player is removed off the roster but still paid when on administrative leave, as was the situation in the instance of former Los Angeles Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer when the league was looking into domestic abuse claims made against him.
A player cannot be placed on administrative leave without the consent of MLB and the MLB Players Association.
The 11-year, $182 million contract Franco signed with Tampa Bay in November 2021 has a potential value of $223 million if the team option for 2033 is exercised.
Franco is batting well this year and was selected to his first All-Star team. He is also among the league leaders in wins above replacement.
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17 home runs, 58 RBIs, a slash line of 281/.344/.475 and a stolen base percentage of 30 for 40 in 112 games.
Franco was benched by the Rays earlier this season for “not being the best teammate,” according to Cash, in the manner he handled his anger on the field.
Monday marks the start of the Rays’ three-game series against the Giants.