Wander Franco (Tampa Bay), who has been called a lazy genius, is in danger of being kicked out of MLB after a scandal involving a minor.
Reporter Ector Gomez, Major League Baseball’s primary source for the Dominican Republic, wrote on social media on Monday (Aug. 18), “It is highly unlikely that Franco will ever play in the major leagues again. I understand that the ongoing investigation is directly targeting Franco,” he said, adding that the local prosecutor’s office is narrowing in on the earlier allegations of underage dating.
Gomez had previously reported on Franco’s 11-year, $182 million extension with Tampa Bay. He added credibility to the story by saying he had been told of Franco’s current condition by a source close to him.
Earlier, AP reported from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, that local prosecutors have opened an investigation into Tampa Bay Rays infielder Wander Franco for allegedly associating with a minor. The Peravia state prosecutor’s office reportedly opened an investigation into Franco by the department in charge of minors and sex offenses.
Prosecutor Angel Dario Tejada Faval of the Peravia State Prosecutor’s Office told the AP that the case has been assigned to the “Specialized Investigation Team for Boys, Girls and Families and Sexual Offenses. “It’s a very sensitive case because it involves minors,” the prosecutor said, adding that “next week it will be possible to release information without compromising the investigation.”
Earlier, the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner opened an investigation into Franco after reports of his involvement in sex offenses involving minors spread on social media. After placing Franco on the restricted list, the organization launched its own investigation into the matter, and the Dominican Republic prosecutor’s office is now looking into the allegations, which, according to Gomez, could result in Franco being banned from playing in the major leagues.
This raises the possibility of another former superstar leaving Major League Baseball due to personal issues. Franco made his big league debut in 2021 as the league’s No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com.
He hit .288 with seven home runs, 39 RBIs, 24 walks, a .347 slugging percentage, a .463 on-base percentage, and an .810 OPS in 70 games after being called up that year, and he continued to showcase his genius in the PS, hitting .368 with two home runs and four RBIs in four games.
Then Tampa Bay made a move. In November 2021, after just one season, they locked up Franco to an astronomical 11-year, $182 million contract. It was an ultra-long term deal that could grow to 12 years and $223 million with options.
It’s an ultra-luxury deal that goes far beyond a first-year player’s salary, and for Tampa Bay, if Franco continues to develop into a superstar, it could keep him with the team for 11 seasons at an average of around $16.54 million per year.
In fact, Franco, who is in his third season in the big leagues, was named to his first All-Star team in 2023 after batting .281 with a .344 on-base percentage, .475 slugging percentage, 17 home runs, 58 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 112 games.
However, if he is eventually released from the major leagues, he will not have completed the second year of his 11-year, $182 million (24.36 billion won) contract. It’s common for a player’s contract to stipulate that if he is released from a team due to criminal charges, he will not be eligible to receive the remainder of his salary. If the charges are finalized, Franco would likely be subject to such a clause in his contract, meaning he would be released without receiving any salary.
Franco’s guaranteed salary alone, including this year, is worth about $22.13 billion. Even excluding this season, given that he’s already been paid for several months this year, he’s still owed more than $220 million in guaranteed money, assuming he fulfills his 12th-year option.
It’s not like there weren’t signs. Aside from being a prodigious talent, Franco’s time with the team has been marked by work ethic and attitude issues, which have led to feuds with other players on the squad. Finally, he had an accident that couldn’t be washed away, and it looked like he had sabotaged his own future.
At this point, there’s one more name that comes to mind. Trevor Bauer (Yokohama), the original bad boy. Bauer, who signed a three-year, $120 million (13.64 billion won) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of the 2021 season, was accused of assaulting a woman he was in a relationship with in June of that year.
After being placed on administrative leave, two of the assault charges were dropped by prosecutors due to insufficient evidence, but two more women came forward to say they were assaulted by Bauer, leading to a 324-game suspension in April 2022. The suspension was later reduced to 194 games, but the Dodgers released Bauer without conditions. The Dodgers paid Bauer all of his remaining salary at the time, but essentially cut off all avenues for him to play in the MLB.온라인카지노
Despite being a Cy Young Award-winning, league-leading starting pitcher, no team would take him, even at the lowest salary, after the Dodgers released him, and he has been playing in the NPB Yokohama DeNA Basestars since this season. Of course, his resurgence in the NBP has allowed him to live up to his past reputation, but it’s a downward spiral for a pitcher who was once considered one of the best in the big leagues.
There’s a good chance Franco will go the way of Bauer. The stakes are high and the moral implications are devastating. Depending on the allegations, his downfall could be even greater than Bauer’s. In any other sport, a criminal offense involving a minor would be virtually impossible for a sports star to return to the professional ranks. What’s more, public opinion these days doesn’t even want a star who has committed that kind of offense. The lazy genius will go down in flames.