Francisco Rodriguez underwent surgery Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Jeff Wilpon said Rodriguez acknowledged to the team's trainers that he injured the thumb in the altercation with his fiancée’s father last Wednesday at Citi Field.
The Mets placed Rodriguez on the disqualified list and do not intend to pay him until he is physically able to perform, Wilpon announced Tuesday.
The issue could be before an arbitrator within two to three months because a player's compensation is at stake. The player’s union has a high batting average on such issues, so finding a void in Rodriguez’s contract will be difficult.
A high-ranking baseball official told ESPN's Pedro Gomez on Tuesday that the Mets' decision to put him on the disqualified list will be "next to impossible" to enforce because he already has been disciplined once with a two-day suspension.
By going on the disqualified list, Rodriguez will lose $3,016,393 of his $11.5 million salary this year. Added to the $125,683 he lost when the Mets put him on the restricted list for two days last week, the altercation could cost him $3,142,076.
The Mets also converted Rodriguez's contract to a non-guaranteed deal. Players with non-guaranteed deals essentially can be cut at points during spring training, with the club responsible for only 30 or 45 days' pay, depending on the timing of the dismissal.
According to ESPN’s Adam Rubin, if the Mets cut Rodriguez early enough in spring training, they would owe him only $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 that's included in his deal.
Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya said they expect Rodriguez would be ready to return to action for spring training.
"First of all, when he gets healthy, right now, we do plan on bringing him back next year,” Minaya told reporters Tuesdayy. “Today we want him back. That being said, let's see how this process goes."