As the MLB’s investigation into the alleged involvement of Tampa Bay Rays’ shortstop, Wander Franco, with a minor remains ongoing, there are early indications that his professional baseball career could be in jeopardy.
An individual with knowledge of the situation, MLB insider Héctor Gómez, has conveyed that the likelihood of Wander Franco resuming his MLB career seems low based on the ongoing investigations. These investigations are raising direct concerns related to the accusations against him.
Reports from TMZ have surfaced, suggesting that social media posts have emerged, implying an inappropriate relationship between Franco and a minor. In response, the Tampa Bay Rays placed him on the restricted list starting from Monday, causing him to be absent from games since the preceding Saturday.
Additionally, ESPN’s report on Wednesday revealed that a prosecutor in the Dominican Republic has stated that Franco is currently under investigation by the National Agency for Boys, Girls, Adolescents, and the Family and Gender Violence Unit. This specialized unit, which focuses on matters concerning minors and gender-based violence in the province of Peravia, is conducting a separate investigation parallel to MLB’s efforts.
Prosecutor Ángel Darío Tejeda Fabal commented on the sensitivity of the case due to the involvement of a minor. Working closely with Judge Olga Diná Llaverías, Fabal emphasized their dedication to handling the case. Judge Llaverías, an expert in child abuse cases, is leading the investigation, which is still in its initial stages as evidence continues to be gathered.
Fabal noted that they may be able to share some necessary information without compromising the progress of the investigation by the following week.
Wander Franco, who signed an impressive $182 million, 11-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays in November 2021, is 22 years old and has demonstrated a batting performance of .281/.344/.457 during this season. He has achieved 17 home runs and 58 RBI so far.