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Wander Franco's absence: Tampa Bay Rays missing star player on administrative leave

Wander Franco won't be joining the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field this Tuesday night. The Dominican shortstop is on administrative leave due to an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA).

Franco, who experienced his first All-Star Game this year, agreed with the Rays to enter the restricted list on August 14, which was later extended. MLB and authorities in the Dominican Republic are investigating social media messages suggesting Franco's involvement in an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

MLB's statement on Tuesday read: "Pursuant to an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, Wander Franco has been placed on Administrative Leave until further notice, while MLB continues its ongoing investigation. Administrative Leave, effective immediately, is not disciplinary under the Joint Policy on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse. We will provide further comment at the appropriate time."

The Rays followed with their own statement: "We support MLB's decision to put Wander Franco on administrative leave. The Tampa Bay Rays are committed to upholding high standards of integrity both on and off the field. We appreciate the understanding of our fans as this situation unfolds. We won't make further statements until MLB completes its process."

Administrative leave doesn't result in punishment

Under the Joint Policy on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse negotiated by MLB and the MLBPA, players on administrative leave continue to receive salary and service time. Franco received his $2 million salary while on the restricted list last week, part of his 11-year, $182 million extension signed after the 2021 season.

Franco last played on August 12 and denied the accusations in an Instagram Live video on August 13. He has not spoken publicly since and did not travel with the team last week. He reportedly hired a lawyer in the US and a legal advisor in the Dominican Republic.

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