Saturday, June 10, 2006
Updated: June 11, 2:46 PM ET
Agent: Grimsley to fight team's decision not to pay him
PHOENIX -- Jason Grimsley plans to fight the Arizona Diamondbacks' decision to withhold the remainder of his $825,000 salary, prompting an angry response from the team's managing general partner.
"This guy did no less than steal from us," Ken Kendrick said Saturday night.
Kendrick reiterated the club's plan not to pay Grimsley the rest of his salary, which is expected to result in a grievance filed by the players union.
"I'm just not in favor of rewarding somebody for the bad acts that they've committed, and this guy's had a career of cheating," Kendrick said. "He's a representative of the culture of cheating, and it's just not something that we're going to support at all."
Earlier Saturday, agent Joe Bick said Grimsley would fight to receive his remaining pay.
"The whole thing is already in process," Bick said. "We haven't filed anything yet, but the players association is aware of it."
The Diamondbacks released the reliever Wednesday, one day after they learned federal agents had searched his home in an investigation into performance-enhancing drugs. At that time, Bick said "there was no negotiation" over Grimsley's remaining salary and that "released players get paid."
But Bick said he received a call Friday from Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes, who told him the club had decided not to pay Grimsley, signed as a free agent last winter.
"All I know is that one day we were told one thing, that they were going to release Jason and pay him, and the next day they changed their minds," Bick said in a telephone interview. "Josh called me Friday and said that after internal discussion, they had elected to pursue this route, and they're free to do that."
Kendrick disputed that assertion.
"We never talked to the agent about any compensation," he said.
Grimsley, 38, has not been charged with any crime. Bick said earlier this week he does not expect Grimsley to pitch in the majors again.
"I don't know what basis they have for not paying him," said Michael Weiner, the union's general counsel.
"This guy did no less than steal from us."
Ken Kendrick, Diamondbacks managing general partner
Rob Manfred, management's executive vice president for labor relations, didn't return a telephone call seeking comment.
Kendrick said the Diamondbacks would file termination papers on Grimsley with the commissioner's office on Monday. He wouldn't speculate on the outcome of a possible grievance but said, "We believe we're in the right."
Kendrick said he thought Grimsley ought to repay the club.
"In my mind, he probably owes us as opposed to us owing him," Kendrick said. "What he's really asking us to do, if he files a grievance, he's asking us to pay him for not performing, when the reason that he isn't performing is because he was a cheater and he acknowledged his cheating for a long period of time. It's totally illogical to me how someone should be compensated under those circumstances."
"I don't know what basis they have for not paying him."
Michael Weiner, general counsel for the players union