Wander Franco was supposed to be the face of the Tampa Bay Rays for the foreseeable future. Instead, his MLB career may be over.
Franco’s universe began to fall apart on Sunday. He had been accused of having an improper relationship with a 14 year old girl and was potentially in deep legal trouble. Franco fired back, saying the allegations were false and that he is innocent on all charges. However, other women and underage girls came forward as well, expanding the investigation beyond that one potentially dubious claim.
Wander Franco’s future with Tampa Bay Rays, MLB in question
And now his future, not just with the Rays, but in baseball in general, is in question. According to Hector Gomez, the ongoing investigations are linking Franco with those allegations. Gomez further reported that his source said that it is unlikely that Franco will ever play in the majors again, let alone with the Rays.
It is a dramatic fall from grace for one of the game’s most exciting young players. Franco was supposed to be a cornerstone of the Rays, their 11 year, $182 million extension showing how much they believed in his talent. There were going to be risks, but the Rays had faith that Franco would be a part of the organization for years to come.
Some of those cracks had surfaced earlier this year. Franco had been benched for essentially being a bad teammate, the immaturity of youth showing. And while there may be some bumps in the road and growing pains, the Rays expected that he would eventually mature and be a leader on the team.
But no one could have foreseen this coming. Immaturity is one thing, but the substance of these allegations are another. If it is proven that Franco had inappropriate relations with underage girls, then he should be worried about his freedom. His baseball career would just be a footnote.
Wander Franco may have played his final major league game. The Tampa Bay Rays shortstop could be in serious trouble.