Benes Won't Fight Contract Ruling
Jan. 02, 1998
NEW YORK (AP) _ Andy Benes ended his attempts to re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, telling the players' association Thursday to withdraw the grievance it had filed to validate his $30 million, five-year contract.
Management's Player Relations Committee ruled the contract was agreed to after the Dec. 7 deadline for free agents to re-sign with their former teams. The union then tried to get arbitrator Dana Eischen to reverse the decision.
Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty testified Dec. 19 on the first day of the hearing and the case had been scheduled to resume Friday.
``Our decision was that we didn't want to go through a grievance procedure in which the controlling issues were conversations that took place between club officials and the PRC,'' said Benes' agent, Scott Boras.
Under baseball's rules, Benes cannot re-sign with the Cardinals until May 1. Boras said the pitcher would not attempt to negotiate with St. Louis any longer and would talk with other teams.
``With a player of this magnitude, it's going to take some time,'' Boras said. ``A lot of it depends on where Andy wants to pitch this year and in future years.''
Benes, a 30-year-old right-hander, was 10-7 with a 3.10 ERA last season. The New York Mets are among the teams said to be interested in signing him.
Players' association lawyer Michael Weiner said the union will formally withdraw the grievance at the start of next week.
The union and Boras claimed they had been given an extension to negotiate past the midnight EST deadline on Dec. 7. PRC head Randy Levine concluded management officials had terminated any extension before Jocketty and Boras reported the agreement.
Benes' deal with St. Louis included a $500,000 annual bonus in each year he was on the active roster for 10 days or more. Including that bonus, Benes would have received a $1 million signing bonus, $4 million in 1998, $6.5 million in 1999 and $7 million in each of the final three seasons.