During Sunday’s game, in which the Rays suffered a 9-2 defeat against Cleveland, Franco remained absent from the field. The Rays emphasized their commitment to addressing the matter seriously, though specifics about the nature of the social media posts have not been disclosed.
Amidst the intrigue, Osleivis Basabe marked his major league debut at shortstop during the same game. Notably, Basabe’s call-up to the majors was a sudden revelation during his Saturday night match with Triple-A Durham. Displaying promising potential, Basabe secured a double and a 1-for-3 record in Sunday’s game.
Franco, who started the day on the Rays’ bench, departed the dugout in the fifth inning. The timing of his departure coincided with the unfolding investigation, prompting questions from fans and the media. Rays manager Kevin Cash, when asked about Franco’s absence from play, maintained that the decision was a routine day off and declined to elaborate further.
This incident is not the first time Franco’s actions have drawn attention. In late June, he faced a two-game benching by the Rays due to concerns about his responses to challenging situations and occasional lapses in teammate conduct.
The Rays secured Franco’s talents with an impressive $182 million, 11-year contract in November 2021, with a team option extending to 2033, potentially amounting to $223 million. Franco’s performance has been stellar, earning him an All-Star title this season. Throughout 112 games, he boasts a .281 batting average, 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, and a notable 30 stolen base successes out of 40 attempts.
While the investigation casts a shadow over Franco and the Rays, fans and enthusiasts remain eager for updates as the situation unfolds. Tensions run high as the baseball community awaits the outcome of the MLB’s due diligence. Stay tuned for further developments as this story continues to evolve.