Rays SS appears for questioning in D.R.

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After the authorities last week failed to locate him in two different family residences In the Dominican Republic, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco appeared Monday with two attorneys to answer questions about an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Franco met with officials from the Department of Gender-Based Violence in Puerto Plata, according to the Spanish-language website, Diario Libre. The meeting was also confirmed by a source to ESPN Digital.

Franco, 22, was placed on the shortlist last August after the allegations surfaced on social media. He continued paid administrative leave shortly after, when Major League Baseball has opened an investigation an initiative which continues in parallel with another led by the Dominican authorities.

Franco, who made the American League All-Star team for the first time in 2023, denied the allegations.

The shortstop was enjoying his best season as a major league player, hitting .281 with 17 homers and 30 stolen bases in 112 games when the allegations surfaced.

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The Rays signed Franco for a $182 million contract over 11 years in November 2021. The team placed him back on the 40-man roster last month since administrative leave is only applicable during the regular season. He will continue to be paid and accrue service time while away from the team.

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