MLB is placing Rays player Wander Franco on administrative leave

Tampa Bay Rays player Wanderer Franco was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball on Tuesday amid multiple investigations into his alleged relationships with underage girls in his native Dominican Republic.

Franco, 22, who missed last week after being placed on the restricted list by the Rays, is being investigated by Dominican police, as well as MLB’s investigative division. Although no charges have been filed against Franco, the public prosecutor said last week that a department specializing in cases of minors and sexual violence was directing police investigations.

“The administrative leave, effective immediately, is not disciplinary under the Common Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. We will comment further in due course,” MLB said in a statement on Tuesday.

Determining administrative leave is an important but expected step. Administrative leave removes the player from the team’s roster during an ongoing investigation of a possible violation of the sport’s domestic violence policy. While a player can challenge administrative leave, MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to place Franco on it “until further notice,” a period expected to last beyond the standard initial seven-day period.

“We support Major League Baseball’s decision to place Wanderer Franco on administrative leave,” Rice said in a statement. “The Tampa Bay Rays are committed to upholding high standards of integrity on and off the field. We appreciate the understanding and patience of our fans and supporters as this process evolves. We will not have any further statements on this matter until MLB completes its process.” “.

MLB launched its investigation into Franco within hours of social media messages on August 13 that hinted at Franco’s relationship with a girl under the age of consent, an 18-year-old in the Dominican Republic. The public prosecutor in the province of Beravia, where the capital is located in Franco’s home town of Bani, told the Associated Press last week that the investigation into the “minor involved” is in its early stages and will be led by Olga Dina Laverias, a specialized public prosecutor. In cases of child abuse. The Dominican newspaper Diario Libre reported that a 17-year-old girl had filed a complaint with the public prosecutor against Franco in July.

The August 13 social media storm prompted the Rays to ban Franco from joining the team in San Francisco, where he was scheduled to play the next day. Tampa Bay and Franco agreed that he would spend the next week on the restricted list, but with the home series starting Tuesday against Colorado, he was expected to use the administrative leave rather than extend his stay on the restricted list.

If Franco objects to administrative leave — during which his wages will be paid and service time accrued — the case will go to a neutral arbitrator, who will decide whether there is “reliable information” to support the claims against him or whether Franco will rejoin. The Rays would “cause a huge upset” for the team.

MLBPA attorney and Franco’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, declined to comment.

Franco, who is in the second year of an 11-year, $182 million contract, was in the middle of a breakout season, hitting .281/.344/.475 with 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases, and making his first all-game appearance. stars.

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