HOUSTON — The Mets are withholding injured closer Francisco Rodriguez's salary while he's sidelined and want to convert his contract to a non-guaranteed deal.
The moves could be a prelude to releasing the star closer without paying most of his 2011 salary.
Rodriguez was placed on the disqualified list Tuesday, six days after he tore a ligament in the thumb of his pitching hand while punching his girlfriend's father outside a family lounge at Citi Field. Rodriguez had surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
The Mets said he won't be paid while on the disqualified list. In addition, they said they were exercising a contractual right to convert the rest of his $37 million, three-year deal to non-guaranteed, meaning they could try to avoid paying most of what's left on it.
The players' association planned to fight the actions.
PETTITTE SLOWED: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte will back off his rehabilitation program of throwing from a mound because tests showed his left groin has not improved.
In other Yankees news, 3B Alex Rodriguez sat out with an injured calf muscle and is day to day. RF Nick Swisher returned to the lineup after leaving Monday's game with a tight right forearm.
BRAVES: All-Star 2B Martin Prado was activated and moved to third base, filling the hole created by Chipper Jones' season-ending injury.
BREWERS: RH reliever LaTroy Hawkins likely will have surgery to fix weakness in his right shoulder.
CARDINALS: CF Colby Rasmus thinks he'll miss at least a handful of games with a strained right calf.
NATIONALS: LF Josh Willingham is expected to have season-ending surgery next week to repair cartilage in his left knee.
RED SOX: 1B Carlos Delgado, trying a comeback at Triple-A Pawtucket, is out through at least the weekend with hip and lower back problems.
TIGERS: SS Carlos Guillen sat out with a swollen left knee.