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Fate of MLB Star Decided Amid Rumored Relationships With Underage Girls

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been "placed on administrative leave until further notice" amid allegations of multiple improper relationships with underage girls,'s Adam Berry reports.

Franco and the Rays had previously agreed to his placement on the restricted list on August 14, which was extended through Monday (August 21), prior to the agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association Tuesday (August 22) morning.

A complaint against Franco was filed by a 17-year-old girl in his native Dominican Republic in July, the Dominican newspaper Diario Libre reported on August 14. The report came after a Facebook post re-shared on X claimed Franco "was dating a 14 year old and she is exposing him after he didn't send her the hush money."

Diario Libre specified that the underage girl who filed the complaint was not the girl mentioned in the social media posts. The Dominican Attorney General's Office confirmed it was investigating the allegations.

Franco appeared to deny the allegations in a video shared on Instagram Live.

“They say that I’m in public with a little girl, that I’m running around with a minor,” Franco said in Spanish. “People don’t know what to do with their time. They don’t know what they’re talking about.

The Rays confirmed that Major League Baseball was investigating the allegations in a statement obtained by Yahoo Sports' Hannah Keyser on August 13.

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

Rays manager Kevin Cash initially claimed that Franco's absence from the lineup was due to a scheduled day off and denied being aware of the speculation after the Rays' loss to the Cleveland Guardians Sunday night. Franco was also absent from the team's cross-country flight for their three-game series against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park beginning on August 14.

On August 17, a source close to Major League Baseball's investigation into Franco told MLB insider Héctor Gómez that Franco's career was likely over.

"A person very close to the investigations into the case of Wander Franco: 'It will be very unlikely that Wander Franco will play in MLB again, judging by the results of the investigations that are currently being carried out, which directly commit him to the accusations against him,'" Gómez wrote.

Franco's wife, identified as Rachelly Paulino, 21, his childhood sweetheart from the Dominican Republic, was also identified amid the allegations, according to Daily Mail. The couple has reportedly been married since 2021 and shares two sons, however, their current standing is unclear.

Franco signed an 11-year extension with the Rays in November 2011 after a breakout rookie season and was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time in 2023, hitting for a .281 average with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs in 442 at-bats.

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