Grimsley, D-Backs agree to donate salary to charity

Updated: August 15, 2006, 7:05 PM ET
By Mike Fish | ESPN.com

Former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley, released after admitting to federal agents that he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs, has reached a settlement with the Arizona Diamondbacks that will pay him all of his remaining salary for the season, ESPN.com has learned. Grimsley, according to his agent, was owed approximately $504,000, and will turn all of it over to several charities.

The 15-year veteran was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in June after his name was linked to a federal drug probe. In April, federal agents say they tracked a package containing two "kits" of human growth hormone to his Scottsdale, Ariz., home, and the agents returned nearly two months later to search the premises. Two days after the suspension was announced, the Diamondbacks released Grimsley and threatened to withhold what was still due on his one-year, $825,000 contract.

A formal grievance was never filed, but representatives of the commissioner's office and the Major League Baseball Players Association took part in talks that led to an agreement last week requiring the Diamondbacks to pay his salary. As part of the settlement, Grimsley's agent, Joe Bick, said Tuesday that the money is to be donated to four different charities.

"Two days after this whole incident [in June], Jason said to me that he wanted to see all of the money go to charity, if indeed he got paid," Bick said. "So that is what happened."

According to Bick, the approximate $225,500 that Grimsley would have lost during the 50-day suspension will be given to Drug-Free Arizona and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. The remaining $278,500 is earmarked for Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation and Grimsley's church, Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kan.

The 39-year-old Grimsley, who left the Diamondbacks in disgrace after federal authorities unsealed a sworn affidavit in which he admitted to the use of steroids, amphetamines, human growth hormone and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs during his career, has returned to his home in the Kansas City area. Grimsley had made an uncommonly fast return from a major elbow injury last season, pitching on a rehab assignment eight months after Tommy John surgery.

Grimsley has an ownership stake in two Kansas City office buildings, Bick said. In addition, he's invested in CompleteRx, a Houston-based company that manages hospital pharmacies. The privately held company was founded in 1998 by Grimsley's high school friend, Terry Andrus.

He has no plans to play again, Bick said.

According to his sworn affidavit, Grimsley identified several former and current major league players who also used banned substances. The names were redacted in court records. His attorney, Edward Novak, has downplayed the suggestion that Grimsley volunteered names, and reportedly has suggested that federal agents tried to pressure the pitcher into wearing a listening device in an effort to gather incriminating evidence against San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

"At this point, he hasn't heard a word from the federal guys in over two months," Bick said Tuesday.

As for whether Grimsley will face federal charges, Bick said, "We just don't know. His attorney doesn't think so. I tend to disagree with him just because of the notoriety the whole thing got. I don't know."

Mike Fish is an investigative reporter for ESPN.com. He can be reached at michaeljfish@gmail.com.