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Thursday, September 30, 2010
Report: K-Rod grievance starts in Oct.

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The grievance by the players' association to recover more than $3 million withheld by the New York Mets from injured reliever Francisco Rodriguez will start Oct. 18.

Lawyers from Major League Baseball and the players' association met Thursday, and they scheduled Oct. 18-19 in New York for the start of the hearing before arbitrator Shyam Das, two people familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.

New York's decision, and an earlier move to put Rodriguez on the restricted list for two days, cost him $3,142,076 of his $11.5 million salary this year.

In addition, the team said it was exercising a contractual right to convert the rest of his $37 million, three-year deal to non-guaranteed, meaning the Mets could try to avoid paying most of what's left on it. That move also is subject to the grievance.

If the conversion is upheld, the Mets could release Rodriguez in the early part of spring training next year for 30 days' termination pay. That would mean paying $1,885,246 rather than his $11.5 million salary next year. They still likely would owe the $3.5 million buyout attached to the $17.5 million club option for 2012.

A four-time All-Star, Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment following a fight with his girlfriend's father outside a family lounge at Citi Field on Aug. 11.

On Sept. 22 he was charged with seven counts of criminal contempt for sending his girlfriend dozens of text messages begging for forgiveness, violating a restraining order issued after his arrest.