After official charges were made against Rays shortstop Wander Franco on Tuesday, his MLB status has changed.

The 23-year-old is no longer on administrative leave and has been placed on the restricted list, according to multiple reports, after he was charged with sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of a minor in the Dominican Republic.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan added that MLB’s investigation of Franco is still ongoing, and that further discipline from baseball’s highest office could still ensue following the end of his court case.

“We are aware of the charges against Mr. Franco,” the league said in a statement. “Our investigation remains open, and we will continue to closely monitor the case as it moves forward.”

On Tuesday night, ESPN Dominican Republic’s Juan Arturo Recio reported that Franco had been formally charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

Recio also indicated that Franco had been accused of human trafficking, which could warrant a 20-year prison sentence.

As spring training came to a close in late March, Franco’s administrative leave was extended until June 1, The Post reported.

The Rays star was initially placed on the restricted list on Aug. 14, 2023 after rumors flooded social media that Franco had been in a relationship with an underage girl.

The league transferred Franco to administrative leave on Aug. 22.

Dominican Republic officials swiftly initiated an investigation into Franco, including raiding properties owned by the shortstop as well as his mother in December 2023.

On Jan. 1, Franco was arrested after not attending a scheduled summoning with the country’s Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Children and Adolescents, although Franco was released from jail a week later.

The 23-year-old Franco made his first All-Star appearance in 2023, with his last game played coming on Aug. 12.

Franco signed an 11-year, $182 million extension with Tampa Bay in November 2021, shortly after the former top prospect had suited up in only 70 MLB games.

In light of formalized charges from Dominican authorities, not to mention MLB’s continued investigation, it continues to appear unlikely that Franco will ever play professional baseball again.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.