Source: K-Rod, Mets near settlement

Updated: October 16, 2010, 10:48 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

A grievance hearing brought by the Major League Baseball Players Association on behalf of New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez will not be heard Monday as scheduled because the sides are nearing a settlement, a source familiar with the discussions confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

The grievance over the conversion of Rodriguez's contract to nonguaranteed and the withholding of more than $3 million of his $11.5 million 2010 salary had been scheduled to be heard Monday and Tuesday before arbitrator Shyam Das in New York. A Mets spokesman confirmed Monday's hearing has been adjourned and "the parties are in negotiations."

Rodriguez appeared in one game after being arrested and charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment for allegedly striking his girlfriend's father at Citi Field in August. Rodriguez then required season-ending surgery to repair a torn right thumb ligament, an injury the Mets maintain the closer admitted he suffered during the incident.

Under the framework of an agreement under negotiation, the four-time All-Star would lose the withheld 2010 salary but 2011 would remain guaranteed, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The settlement discussions were first reported by the New York Post.

Rodriguez is due to make $11.5 million next season. There is an option that vests for $17.5 million for 2012 if Rodriguez finishes 55 games next season and is healthy at season's end. Otherwise, the Mets would be responsible for a $3.5 million buyout.

Rodriguez has misdemeanor criminal charges pending over the alleged altercation at Citi Field and the alleged violation of an order of protection. Rodriguez is accused of sending dozens of text messages to his girlfriend after he had been warned to stay away from her.

However, Christopher Booth, the closer's criminal attorney, recently indicated there has been movement toward a settlement of those charges by the next hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Queens Criminal Court.

Rodriguez has been attending weekly anger-management sessions, Booth said. Prosecutors likely would require a different, court-approved venue for those sessions in any settlement.

Adam Rubin covers MLB for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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