Rays shortstop bags bumper $700,000 payout despite career threatening allegations


In a surprising turn of events, Wander Franco, the talented shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays, has secured a substantial bonus from MLB’s pre-arbitration pool despite missing the final 42 games of the season. The $706,761 bonus ranks 13th among the 101 players benefiting from the $50 million pre-arbitration pool established under the 2022 labor agreement.

Franco’s absence from the field was due to allegations of improper relationships with minors, leading to his placement on the restricted list and subsequent administrative leave. Despite ongoing investigations, the young star remains eligible for the bonus, emphasizing the unique nature of the pre-arbitration pool.

Wander Franco’s bonus is based on his 2023 season performance.

The bonus distribution is determined by a joint Wins Above Replacement metric, reflecting players’ on-field contributions. Wander Franco’s impressive performance, including his All-Star debut and a .281 batting average with 17 homers, 58 RBIs, and 30 steals, contributed to his notable bonus.

Wander Franco’s impressive performance, including his All-Star debut and a .281 batting average contributed to his notable bonus.
Wander Franco’s impressive performance, including his All-Star debut and a .281 batting average contributed to his notable bonus.

It’s worth noting that Franco, despite signing an 11-year, $182 million contract in 2021, remains eligible for the pre-arbitration bonus alongside other players with long-term deals. While uncertainties surround Franco’s playing status for 2024 pending investigation results, this unexpected bonus adds another layer to the intriguing narrative surrounding one of baseball’s rising stars.

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