A week ago, even before Francisco Rodriguez allegedly struck his children's grandfather at the Citi Field family room, Mets officials likely would have jumped at a mulligan to undo the closer's remaining contract. It's not so much the $11.5 million K-Rod is owed in 2011, although that's not exactly ideal. It's the fact that if Rodriguez finishes 55 games next season and is healthy as the season closes, his contract vests for 2012 at $17.5 million.
New York Mets
Now, with Rodriguez lost for the season with a torn thumb ligament that requires surgery, the Mets may have a way out.
A team spokesman confirmed voiding Rodriguez's remaining contract is on the table for discussion and a further announcement would come Tuesday.
While it's not a foregone conclusion the Mets would succeed, at least there's very recent precedent for an organization winning such a dispute. The Astros dumped Shawn Chacon in 2008 without pay after he pushed down GM Ed Wade. It just so happened that Monday, the arbitrator's official ruling was released, which declared Houston was within its right to not pay the remaining amount owed to the pitcher.
K-Rod and the Players Association, you would imagine, would seek a hearing before an arbitrator if the Mets attempted a similar maneuver. And this story will drag on for a while.