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Tampa Bay Rays’ Wander Franco steps away from team as MLB investigates social media posts

Tampa Bay Rays’ Wander Franco steps away from team as MLB investigates social media posts

(CNN) — Tampa Bay Rays All-Star shortstop Wander Franco will not be with the team during its current road trip due to the situation surrounding social media posts involving Franco, the Rays said Monday.

Tampa Bay and Franco have mutually agreed that he’ll be placed on the Restricted List, administrative leave that allows Franco to not count against the 26-man roster.

Additionally, Major League Baseball is investigating the posts, an MLB official told CNN on Monday.

Neither MLB nor the Rays gave any details on the posts.

“We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation,” the Rays said in a statement. “Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time.”

The Rays said they became “aware” of circulating posts involving Franco during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians and “are in close contact with Major League Baseball as it conducts its due diligence.”

Franco did not play in the team’s 9-2 loss and after the game Rays manager Kevin Cash said he was “aware” of the speculation but it was a “scheduled day off” for the 22-year-old.

“I’m aware of the speculation, and I’m not going to comment any further on that but the day off was because a day off,” Cash said.

CNN has reached out to Franco’s representation for comment.

Franco, who was named an American League All-Star this season, is hitting .281 with 17 homers, 58 RBIs and helped lead the Rays to a 71-49 record this season. The Rays are currently three games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East division.

Franco signed an 11-year, $182 million contract extension in 2021 with the Rays, according to Spotrac.

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