Wander Franco looked like a bright star on the rise, but his MLB career may have flamed out.
Days after it was announced that Major League Baseball is investigating allegations that the Tampa Bay Rays shortstop had a relationship with an underage girl, reports out of the Dominican Republic are damning for the young all-star.
Dominican journalist Hector Gomez posted on social media a quote from a “person very close to the investigation” that the probe could mean the end of Franco’s career.
“A person very close to the investigations into the case of Wander Franco: ‘It will be very unlikely that Wander Franco will play in MLB again, judging by the results of the investigations that are currently being carried out, which directly commit him to the accusations against him,’ Gomez wrote on Twitter.
Franco was scratched from a game against the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday after posts on social media from a 14-year-old girl claiming the two had been in a improper relationship, which he has denied.
Earlier this week, a prosecutor in the Dominican Republic said the probe into Franco’s alleged relationship with a minor is being handled by a division specializing in minors and gender violence in the province of Peravia.
Angel Darío Tejeda Fabal, a prosecutor in Peravia, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the investigation into Franco is open under the National Agency for Boys, Girls, Adolescents and Family and Gender Violence Unit.
MLB is also investigating the claims against the 22-year-old Franco.
The Rays have put Franco on the restricted list while the investigation is taking place, which takes him out of their lineup but means he is still paid his salary. Franco signed a record-breaking deal in 2021, netting him $182 million over 11 years — the biggest contract for a player with less than one year of service time.
Dominican investigation of Rays’ Wander Franco is being led by gender violence and minors division
Rays put Wander Franco on restricted list while MLB investigates social media posts