The investigation of Wander Franco has expanded to the Dominican Republic. This past weekend, 22-year-old Tampa Bay Rays shortstop was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
On Monday (August 14), the office of the attorney general in the DR confirmed in a statement that an investigation into allegations against Franco existed in his home country. This comes after Major League Baseball (MLB) announced it was investigating the claims on its end too.
Along with the two separate investigations, Franco was placed on the restricted list by his team. This means Franco won’t play for at least six games while the MLB conducts its investigation. “The Tampa Bay Rays and Wander Franco have mutually agreed that he will go on the restricted list and take leave from the club for the duration of the current road trip,” the Rays said in a statement.
Franco did not play in the game against the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday (August 13), the same day the allegations appeared on social media. “During today’s game, we were made aware of the social media posts that are circulating regarding Wander Franco,” the club said in a statement. “We take the situation seriously and are in close contact with Major League Baseball as it conducts its due diligence.”
A photo of Franco posing with a young girl or woman circulated online. The age of Franco’s companion in the picture is unknown. According to MLB insider Héctor Gómez, the woman in the photo is not actually the person accusing Franco of misconduct. So that means there are two alleged young women involved in the situation.
On Monday, Franco commented on his Instagram Live about the allegations against him. “They say that I’m in public with a little girl, that I’m running around with a minor,” Franco said. “People don’t know what to do with their time. They don’t know what they’re talking about. That’s why I prefer to be on my side and not get involved with anybody.”