Wander Franco’s administrative leave extended through July 14 by MLB, players’ association

NEW YORK (AP) — Wander Franco’s administrative leave was extended through July 14 by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

Tampa Bay’s All-Star shortstop has not played since Aug. 12 while MLB continues its investigation into an alleged relationship with a minor.

Administrative leave is not disciplinary under the sport’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, and a player continues to be paid. Franco, who has a $2 million salary this year, has remained in his native Dominican Republic while authorities there investigate.

Franco was placed on the restricted list for a week on Aug. 14 while MLB launched an investigation following social media posts suggesting Franco was in a relationship with a minor. The Associated Press has not been able to verify the reported posts.

Franco was moved to administrative leave on Aug. 22 and remained there through the end of the season. There is no leave during the offseason. He resumed leave on opening day as part of an agreement through June 1.

MLB is likely to wait until the Dominican investigation is concluded before deciding whether there will be any discipline.

Originally accused of commercial and sexual exploitation and money laundering — charges that carry up to 30 years, 10 years and 20 years of prison, respectively — Franco stands accused instead of sexual and psychological abuse, according to a judge’s resolution that the AP obtained in January.

Franco had not been formally accused, but if found guilty on the new charge, he could face two to five years in prison.

Franco, who turned 23 on March 1, was in the midst of his third major league season when his career was halted and was hitting .281 with 17 homers, 58 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 40 attempts over 112 games.

Franco agreed to a $182 million, 11-year contract in November 2021.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

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