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The Union has no concerns about the Mets. For now.

Feb 22, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

k-rod running in from bullpen

Michael Weiner’s spring training tour took him to Port St. Lucie today, where he met the Mets. Adam Rubin reports on the  two Met-specific issues that are likely on Weiner’s radar screen:

  • Weiner said he has been assured by the commissioner’s office that players’ guaranteed contracts will not be affected by the Wilpons’ legal issues; and
  • He has “every expectation” that the Mets aren’t going to mess around with Francisco Rodriguez‘s playing time this year in an effort to keep his $17.5 million option from vesting.

It’s not likely that Weiner would have any worries about the guaranteed contracts. Major League Baseball showed with the Rangers last year that it will step in with a line of credit of that’s threatened.  Players are going to be paid.

Weiner was more interested, it seems, talking about the Mets as players in the free agency market.  He probably realizes, though, that even if the Mets didn’t have Madoff problems, they’re not exactly in a position — competitively speaking — to be leading the market right this moment, so there would be no upside to him complaining about it now. The union wants the Mets as big bidders for players, but it’s not like the union can do anything about it at the moment.

As for the K-Rod option, the Mets know that the union is watching the matter closely, so there’s no need to shoot anything across the team’s bow with respect to the issue. Such a thing is not Weiner’s style anyway.  He makes references at the end of Rubin’s article to “arbitration precedent” for a team messing with playing time to save money, and that’s probably enough.  Come August, there’s a great chance that the only thing worth talking about the Mets will be K-Rod’s option, so it’s not like the issue is going to fly under the radar.  The union will be watching. As will the media.

  1. BC - Feb 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Of course if K-Rod blows his arm out or hauls off and punches someone again, the option will be moot. Not like he’s getting more than 30 or so save opportunities anyway…..

    • chrisny3 - Feb 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      I’m predicting his option kicks in. He will have a good year and they won’t be able to sit him down just to prevent it. TC won’t do it — he’s just too competitive.

      • BC - Feb 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Too competitive? For a team that’s going to go 78-84? Who cares? They’ll finish 20+ games out of first. By July they’ll be irrelevant.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        Yes, too competitive. Have you paid attention to his personality? There is no way he’s going to sit down K-Rod if the Mets have the chance to close out a win no matter where in the standings they are. He’s the type that would complain to the media if a GM told him to do such a thing. But I don’t think Alderson would do it anyway.

        If K-Rod is healthy enough and good enough to close out that many games this year, then his option won’t be terrible. The Mets will be able to afford it with all the money coming off the books.

  2. Jonny 5 - Feb 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Does ownership still have to pay up if they run down a player and end his life? I’m thinking there must be some loophole there that Fred W was trying to take advantage of.

    • BC - Feb 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      Oh my. It’s like Vince Coleman and the man-eating automatic tarp thing all over again.

  3. chrisny3 - Feb 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Look, whether it’s the Mets, whether it’s the Dodgers — frankly the Twins, Tigers, any team — if there’s something that’s going to prevent them from participating as they normally would in whatever cycle they would be in bidding for players, that’s a concern for us. At this point, we’ve been assured through the commissioner’s office that the Mets are going to be able to continue to operate as they have in the past.”

    The above is also from Rubin’s article. Weiner doesn’t seem to be concerned about the Mets ability to participate in the future FA market either — as opposed to some fans who pretend to know the opposite is true, and to the sorrow of others who were wishing for the worst.

    There is no way that Wilpon gives in to Picard’s blackmail attempts. If a settlement is not to his and the Mets’ liking, they will fight it in court. If that happens it could drag into 2013 until all appeals are exhausted. I don’t think Madoff will be impacting the Mets, if at all, until well after this season.

  4. Professor Longnose - Feb 22, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Does the CBA contain specific language about incentive contracts that would affect this, or is this just something that the union does and arbitrators tend to support?

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