With Future Very Much In Doubt, Rays Preparing To Move On Without Wander Franco

The Tampa Bay Rays are navigating their postseason plans with a significant void in their roster as shortstop Wander Franco remains on administrative leave indefinitely.

Major League Baseball took this step last month as authorities in the Dominican Republic investigate the young All-Star for an alleged relationship with a minor.

Rays manager Kevin Cash acknowledged the challenging situation, simple saying: “Yeah,” when asked if the team must prepare for the playoffs without Franco’s availability.

The 22-year-old Dominican talent will continue to receive his salary and service time while on administrative leave, thanks to an agreement with the players association.

However, this agreement did not establish a specific timetable for a decision regarding potential disciplinary actions by the league. 

Franco was initially placed on the restricted list for a week on August 14th, following the emergence of social media posts that hinted at a possible relationship with a minor.

 

MLB emphasized that the shift to administrative leave was not a disciplinary action under the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy.

The league has the option to await the conclusion of the ongoing investigation in the Dominican Republic before making any decisions regarding possible disciplinary measures.

The joint domestic violence policy was established in 2015 through an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA.

Franco, who signed an 11-year, $182 million contract starting in 2022, had been in his third big league season and boasts impressive statistics, with a batting average of .281, 17 home runs, 58 runs batted in, and 30 stolen bases in 40 attempts over 112 games.

Clearly, it looks like his 2023 season is over.. And depending on the investigation, it’s quite possible that his MLB career is over altogether.

What are your thoughts on this entire situation?

Getting back to baseball, what do you think of the Rays chances in the postseason?

 

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