In a statement on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that social media posts related to Rays shortstop Wander Franco are currently being investigated by Major League Baseball.
The team expressed their seriousness regarding the situation and revealed that they are in close communication with MLB as they conduct their investigation.
The specific content of the social media posts that triggered the investigation was not provided by the club.
However, the Tampa Bay Times reported that messages circulating on the platform X (previously known as Twitter) alleged Franco’s involvement in an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
As a consequence, Franco’s name started trending on the platform as the posts went viral.
Whoaaaa Wander Franco dating a 14 year old? pic.twitter.com/HBQ4Fd0WTE
— Jimm (@jimcclintock) August 14, 2023
Bury Wander Franco under the jail. pic.twitter.com/m3kAnqYk2g
— atl (@AtlantaLonghorn) August 13, 2023
The “14” year old that is getting wander franco investigate. If this is true, @eury_perez9 and other prospects are also being baited by the woman. I hope MLB and Tampa Bay Rays investigate this deeply. This 14 year old also posts photos of her driving while drinking Vodka. pic.twitter.com/fQCrmgwA9N
— NasdaqBaseball (@NasdaqBaseball) August 14, 2023
— Er (@elvisr516) August 14, 2023
Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco is finished man.
Here is the 14 year old kid wearing Tampa merch, also in saying: "the one with a baseball player"
Also in the chat messages someone is alleging he won’t travel back to DR till she gets 18.
MAN THAT GUY NEEDS JAIL ASAP. ?? pic.twitter.com/869cXmMdCK
— ADHD (@ADHDGoat) August 14, 2023
It was noticed that Franco did not play in Sunday’s game, as Rays manager Kevin Cash granted him a day off.
The team suffered a 9-2 loss to the Guardians in his absence. When questioned about the speculation surrounding the social media posts, Cash declined to comment further, stating that the day off was unrelated to the ongoing investigation.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan later reported that Franco would not be traveling with the team to San Francisco for their upcoming three-game series against the Giants on Monday evening.
Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco did not travel on the team plane to San Francisco, where the Rays will start a series with the Giants tomorrow, sources tell ESPN. The Rays earlier said MLB is doing “due diligence” concerning social media posts from earlier today about Franco.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 14, 2023
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