MLB looking into social media posts regarding Wander Franco, Rays in ‘close contact’ with league

Wander Franco
Wander Franco

The Tampa Bay Rays issued a statement on Sunday in response to allegations circulating on social media involving their shortstop, Wander Franco. The team acknowledged their awareness of the situation and emphasized their commitment to treating it with seriousness. Currently, Major League Baseball is conducting an independent investigation, and the Rays are maintaining close communication with the league throughout this process.

Following the Rays’ loss to the Guardians on Sunday, manager Kevin Cash addressed the matter. While he acknowledged the speculations surrounding Franco, Cash chose not to provide specific comments at that time. He did clarify, however, that Franco’s absence from the lineup that day had been a planned day off and was unrelated to any ongoing developments.

In place of Franco, the Rays fielded debutant infielder Osleivis Basabe during the game against the Guardians. Basabe had been recalled just before the match, leading to the demotion of left-handed pitcher Josh Fleming.

Importantly, Franco was absent from the team’s flight to San Francisco for the upcoming series against the Giants, a detail reported by ESPN. The Rays are scheduled to begin a three-game series at Oracle Park starting on Monday night.

Wander Franco, aged 22, secured an 11-year extension with the Rays in November 2021. His exceptional performance earned him a place in this season’s All-Star Game, showcasing a batting average of .281/.344/.475 across 112 games.

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