Sure enough, the players' union didn't take it too well when the Mets placed Francisco Rodriguez on the disqualified list:
NEW YORK (AP) The players’ union filed a grievance against the New York Mets and the commissioner’s office on Wednesday, protesting how the team has handled Francisco Rodriguez since he was injured in a fight at Citi Field.
The Major League Baseball Players Association is challenging the Mets’ decision to place the record-setting closer on the disqualified list and their effort to convert his contract to a non-guaranteed deal.
As is, Rodriguez is set to lose more than $3 million while he stays on the disqualified list. In addition, by converting the rest of his deal to a non-guaranteed contract, the Mets would be able to cut Rodriguez next spring for a small fraction of his $11.5 million 2011 salary.
The players' union, though, has it in its best interests to fight any attempt to reduce a player's pay, and so its actions today were easily predictable. Says the AP:
If the case isn’t settled, arbitrator Shyam Das would decide whether the team’s actions were justified. No hearing date has been set.
If the Mets are indeed able to convert Rodriguez's contract to being non-guaranteed, they will free up an enormous amount of 2011 cap space, assuming they would move to cut the reliever prior to the season.