Union to file grievance for Walker

Updated: March 29, 2007, 7:36 PM ET
Associated Press

PEORIA, ARIZ. -- Infielder Todd Walker cleared waivers Thursday, and the players' union plans to file a grievance over his release from the San Diego Padres.

Walker was waived Tuesday, a little more than a month after he won a $3.95 million salary in arbitration. Because the contract wasn't guaranteed, the Padres will owe Walker 45 days' termination pay -- $971,311 -- rather than the entire salary.

The Padres said it was a baseball decision, and that Walker's salary didn't factor into the decision.

However, union general counsel Michael Weiner disagreed, saying a grievance will be filed in the next few days.

"Based on what we have learned to date, we believe the Padres' termination was not consistent with the Uniform Player's Contract and the Basic Agreement," Weiner said. "Our investigation will continue during the processing of the grievance, and we will do all that is necessary to vindicate Todd's rights."

The 33-year-old Walker struggled in spring training, hitting just .225, and the Padres are heavy with left-handed hitters off the bench.

Walker became a free agent after last season and the Padres offered him arbitration on Dec. 2, nearly three weeks before they signed Marcus Giles to a $3.75 million contract to play second base. Last year's starter, Josh Barfield, was traded to Cleveland in October for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff.

Walker's agent, Brian Carlin, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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