Rays’ Wander Franco not traveling with team as MLB looks into allegations of improper relationship with minor

Rays star Wander Franco did not travel with the team as MLB looks into social media posts regarding the rising star. 

Franco, 22, was not with his teammates on the Rays’ team plane as they headed to San Francisco for their upcoming series against the Giants, which starts Monday evening, according to ESPN

The posts, which appear to have been deleted on X (formerly Twitter), reportedly emerged on Sunday and alleged that Franco was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a minor, according to the Tampa Bay Times

The Rays said MLB is looking into the posts and allegations. 

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

Tampa did not specify what the posts alleged. 

Franco did not play in the Rays’ 9-2 loss to the Guardians on Sunday, though manager Kevin Cash claimed it was a planned rest day. 

“I’m aware of the speculation, and I’m not going to comment any further on that,” Cash told reporters after the game. “The day off was because (it was) a day off.” 

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

Sunday’s promotion at Tropicana Field was the Wander Franco Snapback Hat for fans 14 and under. 

An American League All-Star in his third MLB season this year, Franco is slashing .281/.344/.475 with a .819 OPS, 17 homers, 58 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. 

He signed an 11-year contract worth $182 million in November 2021, a deal with a team option for 2033 that could be worth $223 million. 

Franco was the No. 1-overall prospect in baseball, per MLB pipeline, before he was called up by the Rays in 2021. 

— With AP