Major League Baseball (MLB) infielder Wander Franco (Tampa Bay Rays), who was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor, was eventually arrested.
Local American media such as ‘ESPN’ and ‘Tampa Bay Times’ reported on the 2nd (Korean time) that “Franco appeared with his lawyer at the Plata Prosecutor’s Office in his home country, the Dominican Republic, and was arrested immediately after being questioned.” 카지노사이트랭크
However, ESPN explained, “Franco was arrested not because the investigation into the case showed progress, but because he did not comply with the prosecution’s request to appear.” “Franco appeared with a new legal team, but the details were not known.”
The starting point of the incident was last August. A photo of Franco and a woman who appeared to be a minor was posted on social networking services (SNS), and soon after, an article revealing that Franco had an inappropriate relationship with a minor was posted. As the Dominican Republic began its investigation, the Tampa Bay team and the MLB Secretariat, which recognized the seriousness of the incident, immediately began to investigate details related to the incident.
The player himself strongly denied the charges. On August 14, Franco complained about his injustice during a live broadcast through his SNS from Tampa Bay’s clubhouse. However, since then, he has remained silent without expressing any particular position, and Tampa Bay placed Franco on the restricted list.
The MLB Secretariat judged that the investigation period would be long and placed Franco on ‘indefinite administrative leave.’ The MLB Secretariat announced, “Following an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA (MLB players’ union), Franco has been placed on administrative leave until further notice. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time.”
Therefore, Franco was unable to play while the investigation was ongoing. The game against the Cleveland Guardians on August 13th was Franco’s last game this season. However, Franco was able to receive normal salary and service time (roster registration period) during this period according to the agreement between the MLB Secretariat and the MLBPA.
From the Tampa Bay team’s perspective, they simply had to wait for the investigation to proceed. At the time, Tampa Bay coach Kevin Cash declined to comment in response to a related question, saying, “I will not comment further on (the incident). We will have to wait and see.” The Tampa Bay club said in a statement, “We are calling the secretariat to investigate the incident.” “We accept the measures taken. There is no further comment at this time,” he said, respecting the secretariat’s decision. In the end, Tampa Bay had to play the remainder of the season without Franco.
Meanwhile, it was early December when Franco’s current status was reported. After Franco left the United States, he headed to the Dominican Republic. However, the Dominican Republic prosecutors and police, who searched Franco’s address and Franco’s mother’s home on the 27th of last month, did not achieve any significant results, and the Dominican Republic prosecutors did not give up on their intention to continue the investigation regardless of Franco’s attendance.
Franco, who debuted in the big league in 2021 after signing an international amateur contract, attracted attention as an infield prospect with offensive, base running, and defensive abilities. In November of that year, he signed a 12-year contract worth up to $223 million (about 289 billion won) with Tampa Bay.
It was great for a young player to sign a large contract, but since Tampa Bay was closer to a ‘small market’ than a ‘big market’, baseball fans around the world were surprised by Franco’s contract.
In particular, Franco was on the verge of a ‘career high’ this year with 124 hits in 442 at-bats in 112 games, a batting average of 0.281, 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, 30 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.819. Even for Tampa Bay, where the fall baseball challenge was in full swing, Franco’s performance was a great source of energy.
However, Franco, who was called a top prospect, became a ‘runaway’ and was unable to complete his first full-time season. He crossed the river of no return by making a big mistake off the field. At this rate, it doesn’t seem easy for Franco to return to the big league stage.