UPDATE: The Mets confirmed to Steve Popper of the Bergen Record that Monday’s hearing with Francisco Rodriguez has been canceled and that the two sides are nearing a settlement.
10:50 AM: According to Dan Martin and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez are close to a negotiated settlement and may avoid Monday’s scheduled arbitration hearing.
According to the report, there is “belief between the parties” that an agreement could be announced by a soon as Monday or Tuesday.
A settlement likely means that the Mets will not be able to avoid paying the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract, which includes $11.5 million next season and a $17.5 million vesting option for 2012. As we’ve said all along, the most realistic scenario is that the team would be able to recoup some or all of the salary from the time K-Rod missed due to his thumb injury.
In other words, barring picking up a significant portion of his salary in a trade — or jail time, which will likely be avoided with a plea agreement — Rodriguez will be back with the Mets next season.