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Rays' Franco placed on restricted list amid MLB investigation

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tampa Bay Rays All-Star shortstop Wander Franco agreed to be placed on the restricted list amid a Major League Baseball investigation, the team announced Monday.

MLB is looking into social media posts that went viral Sunday, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Kristie Ackert. The posts allege that Franco has been in an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic are also investigating the allegations against Franco, the Dominican attorney general's office said in a statement, per Fred Goodall of the Associated Press.

Franco told his teammates he's innocent but agreed to leave the team during the investigation in order to not be a distraction, sources told Evan Drellich and Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic. He also publicly denied the allegations in an Instagram Live on Sunday.

Franco will be away from the team through a pair of three-game road series against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels.

"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."

Franco didn't play Sunday's series finale against the Cleveland Guardians. He was initially seen in the Rays' dugout but left around the fifth inning and didn't return, per Ackert. He wasn't in the clubhouse postgame, and an attendant packed up his locker.

Following the contest, manager Kevin Cash wouldn't comment on the viral social media posts and said Franco's absence from the lineup was simply "a day off."

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