The Tampa Bay Rays said Major League Baseball is investigating social media posts with star shortstop Wander Franco.
“During today’s game, we were made aware of the social media posts circulating about Wander Franco,” says the Rays said in a statement Sunday. “We are taking the situation seriously and are in close contact with Major League Baseball as it conducts its due diligence.”
The Rays did not go into details about the social media posts. Rays manager Kevin Cash declined to comment further after Tampa’s 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, except that he was “aware” of the reports. Franco, 22, was not in the Rays’ lineup on Sunday.
“I’m aware of the speculation,” Cash said, via ABC’s Kyle Burger. “I will not comment further on that. The day off was due to a [scheduled] day off.”
Franco did not travel to San Francisco with the Rays ahead of their series with the Giants, which begins Monday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Franco is in his third season with the Rays. He earned his first All-Star nomination this season and has a .281 average at the plate with 17 home runs and 58 RBI. He hit his first career walk-off to lift the Rays past the Guardians on Friday night. Sunday’s loss to Cleveland closed the three-game series in St. Petersburg.
The Rays signed Franco to an 11-year, $182 million deal in 2021.