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Rays All-Star Shortstop Placed on Administrative Leave

Wander Franco was put on administrative leave Thursday by Major League Baseball, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The placement removes Franco from the Tampa Bay Rays 40-man roster and is effective through June 1. The stay could end sooner than if there are any developments in Franco’s investigation. Or, it can be longer than that if there are none. Due to being on administrative leave and not the restricted list, Franco will be paid his $2 million salary.

Wander Franco Taken Off 40-Man Roster

The move is to make room for the Opening Day roster. Franco, 23, has been away from the team since mid-August when allegations first surfaced of an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Franco has not been formally charged as he remains under investigation in his native Dominican Republic. He is required to make monthly check-ins with court officials through June 30 unless his case is resolved prior. With an end date for June, the league and union established a two-month window for any developments in his case and status.

Rays Acquire Utilityman, Select Him to 40-Man Roster

Tampa Bay is in need of infield depth due to injuries and Franco’s absence. The Rays acquired utilityman Niko Goodrum from the Minnesota Twins and will add him to the 40-man roster. Goodrum has a pair of minor league options remaining which doesn’t mean he’ll go onto the Rays major league roster. The switch-hitting veteran can play any position on the diamond. His acquisition comes after injuries to Taylor Walls (hip surgery) and Jonathan Aranda (fractured finger). Goodrum has played parts in six big league seasons with the Twins, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros. It seems like Goodrum will settle for a backup infielder role as the Rays have optional depth who can be controlled through the 2025 season via arbitration.

Main Photo: © David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports


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