As if the Mets haven’t had enough bad news to deal with in the past year, star center fielder Carlos Beltran underwent surgery on his right knee on Wednesday and will miss the start of the season.
In addition to Beltran missing time, the Mets are apparently rankled that he used his personal physician for the procedure, and did not give their “blessing,” according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
And for now, the Mets and one of their key players are clearly in conflict. A person familiar with the situation told the Post that the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association have been alerted that “the Mets are claiming this was done without clearance and that the Mets are threatening to take some form of action. There is a potential issue out there.”
It’s unclear what action, if any, the Mets could take, and Sherman theorizes that it’s unlikely the team could do anything given that (a) Beltran has kept them in the loop all along, and (b) the doctor Beltran is using has a sterling reputation.
Beltran’s agent Scott Boras told the AP that the language in the player’s contract only requires the team be given written permission for elective operations.
“This was necessary surgery, necessary surgery to work,” Boras told The Associated Press.
The Mets might claim that the operation was elective.
Regardless of what happens, this is terrible news for the Mets as they try to recover from a nightmare 2009 season.
They had a rash of injuries last season, finishing fourth in the NL East at 70-92 after entering the season with expectations of challenging the Philadelphia Phillies for the division crown. Beltran was one of the players to miss time in 2009, sitting out 2 1/2 months with a bone bruise on his knee. He hit .325 with a .415 on-base percentage in just 81 games.
Now he has more problems with his knee and the team is angry. What else could go wrong?