NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets finally won something.
Yorvit Torrealba lost his grievance against team Thursday when arbitrator Shyam Das ruled the Mets had the right to not complete a $14.4 million, three-year agreement with the catcher in November 2007.
The agreement signed by the team and Torrealba’s representative said the contract was subject to a physical that was satisfactory to the Mets. The team concluded it had concerns about his throwing shoulder, which caused him to miss three months of the 2006 season.
“The physical turned up an issue,” Mets executive vice president and general counsel David Cohen said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “It’s one of those situations where different people might have different views of the likely prognosis, but there was clearly an issue. And based on that issue, the team just felt it was not worth taking the medical risk.”
Torrealba then re-signed with the Colorado Rockies, agreeing to a $7.25 million, two-year contract, and the players’ association filed a grievance the following April. A hearing before Das started in December 2009.
During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Torrealba played 134 games for the Rockies. He hit a career-beat .291 in 2009, then signed a $1.25 million, one-year deal with San Diego. After batting .271 in 95 games for the Padres last year, he signed a $6.25 million, two-year contract with Texas.
His agent, Melvin Roman, said he wanted to read Das’ opinion before commenting.
After consecutive losing seasons led general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel to be fired last fall, the Mets have faced uncertainty during the offseason because of a lawsuit against the team’s owners by the trustee seeking to recover money for the victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
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