The New York Mets placed Francisco Rodriguez on the disqualified list and do not intend to pay him until he is physically able to perform, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon announced Tuesday.
Rodriguez underwent surgery Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Wilpon expected Rodriguez would be ready to return to action by Opening Day next season.
Wilpon said Rodriguez acknowledged to the team’s trainers that he injured the thumb in the altercation with his girlfriend’s father last Wednesday at Citi Field.
Rodriguez is making $11.5 million this season, meaning he would forfeit $3 million for the remainder of the season if the ruling stands.
Wilpon said the Mets informed but did not get the approval of Rodriguez’s agent or the Players Association to take the punitive action. The union likely will file a grievance on behalf of the player and the action ultimately will land before an arbitrator.
Wilpon added that the Mets reserved the right to void the contract at a future date, although he did not specifically tie that to the result of Rodriguez’s criminal proceedings. The closer faces third-degree assault and second-degree harassment charges as a result of last Wednesday’s incident at Citi Field.
The Mets also converted Rodriguez’s contract to a nonguaranteed deal. Players with nonguranteed deals essentially can be cut at points during spring training, with the club only responsible for 30 or 45 days’ pay depending on the timing of the dismissal.
GM Omar Minaya said the intention is to bring back Rodriguez in 2011.
"Today we want him back," Minaya said.