A grievance hearing scheduled for Monday between the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez has been canceled, as the two sides are discussing a settlement.
A Mets spokesman said on Saturday, “The parties are in negotiation.”
K-Rod was suspended without pay after injuring his thumb while allegedly beating up the father of his girlfriend at Citi Field in August. Rodriguez is reportedly in plea bargain talks to settle criminal charges.
The Mets have already withheld $3 million in salary from K-Rod, and they were reportedly seeking to make the rest of his contract non-guaranteed, meaning the Mets could cut him in spring training and pay him just 30 days severance. K-Rod is scheduled to make $11.5 million next season, with a vesting option of a whopping $17.5 million (thanks Omar) if he finishes 55 games in 2011 and is healthy at the end of the season. If not, there is a $3.5 million buyout.
My guess is Rodriguez will agree to forfeit the $3 million lost from this season in exchange for the team stopping its quest to non-guarantee the contract. But if the thumb is not healed by spring training, he would continue not being paid. I’m sure the Mets would like to void that option year, but the Players Association would not likely approve of that. The union has a long-standing policy of not reducing the money in contracts.
It would be nice to get K-Rod’s contract off the books for next season and use a cheaper closer, freeing up money for more pressing needs. But having Rodriguez on the team is not the worst thing — he is still one of the elite closers in the game.