Wander Franco ‘told Rays teammates he’s INNOCENT’: All-Star, 22, ‘denied claims of an improper relationship with a minor’ earlier than taking depart amid probes by MLB and Dominican officers

Wander Franco privately informed his Tampa Bay Rays teammates that he was not in an inappropriate relationship with a minor, in accordance with The athletic.

However, he reportedly admitted that he would turn into a distraction if he stayed with the membership throughout investigations by Major League Baseball and Dominican authorities.

Franco, the 22-year-old All-Star shortstop, was positioned on the restricted listing by the Rays on Monday, sidelining him for six video games in a playoff race. The Dominican native might be paid, however the staff might substitute him on the roster whereas MLB investigates social media posts alleging an inappropriate sexual relationship between Franco and a younger lady.

DailyMail.com has not been in a position to independently confirm the social media posts. Allegations first surfaced on Sunday, when Franco was dropped from the Rays lineup for a sport in opposition to the Cleveland Guardians at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

That identical day, Franco denied the allegations throughout an Instagram Live put up.

Franco privately informed teammates that he was not in an inappropriate relationship with a minor

“They say I’m hanging out with a young girl, that I’m walking around with a minor,” Franco informed his teammates throughout his reside broadcast in Spanish. ‘How crazy is that, dude? People don’t know what to do with their time.’

Under a joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy established by the league and the gamers’ union, Commissioner Rob Manfred’s workplace has the authority to present gamers seven days of administrative depart throughout an investigation. Extensions are allowed.

“Those people need to move. One is focused here, doing my thing, you see, thanks to God. That’s why I prefer to be on my side and I don’t interfere with anyone because people gossip so much.’

Rays teammate José Siri later walked into the recording exclaiming that it’s just “people are out for money.”

The reside stream befell earlier than the beginning of the sport, ESPN Deportes reporter Enrique Rojas mentioned Monday on the radio program Grandes En Los Deportes, which is broadcast within the Dominican Republic.

Tampa Bay supervisor Kevin Cash informed reporters earlier than the sport that Franco was out of the lineup as a result of he “wanted to get him off the ground.”

After the loss to the Guardians, Cash acknowledged he was conscious of the rumours.

“I am aware of this speculation,” Cash mentioned. ‘I’m not going to remark additional on that. But the time without work was due to (of) the time without work.’

Franco, who was chosen for the All-Star Game for the primary time this 12 months, entered on Sunday batting .281 with 17 dwelling runs and 58 RBI.