National Football League
Wander Franco placed on restricted list by Rays as MLB investigates social media posts
National Football League

Wander Franco placed on restricted list by Rays as MLB investigates social media posts

Updated Aug. 14, 2023 2:07 p.m. ET

The Tampa Bay Rays have placed Wander Franco on the restricted list as Major League Baseball investigates social media posts involving the shortstop, the Rays announced Monday.

"We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation," the Rays said Monday. "Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time."

Franco did not play in Sunday's 9-2 loss to Cleveland.

"During today's game, we were made aware of the social media posts that are circulating regarding Wander Franco," the Rays said Sunday in a statement. "We take the situation seriously and are in close contact with Major League Baseball as it conducts its due diligence."

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Tampa Bay did not detail the nature of the social media posts.

Osleivis Basabe started at shortstop on Sunday in the 22-year-old's major league debut. Basabe, who went 1 for 3 with a double, learned he was being brought up during his game Saturday night with Triple-A Durham.

Franco started Sunday's game in the Rays' dugout, then left it in the fifth inning.

After the game, Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked whether there was any issue with Franco not playing other than a regular day off. Cash replied: "No."

"I'm aware of the speculation, and I'm not going to comment any further on that," Cash said. "The day off was because (it was) a day off."

ESPN reports Franco did not travel with the Rays for the next series in San Francisco.

Franco was benched for two games in late June by the Rays for how he has responded to frustrating situations and not being the best teammate at times.

Tampa Bay signed the 22-year-old to an 11-year, $182 million contract in November 2021.

Franco, an AL All-Star this season, is hitting .281 with 17 homers, 58 RBIs. He is 30 for 40 in stolen-base attempts in 112 games.

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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