The Major League Baseball Players Association yesterday filed a grievance against the Pirates on behalf of outfielder Jody Gerut, and the hearing on the matter will be Thursday in Pittsburgh.
The Pirates and Gerut disagree on the need for Gerut to have surgery on his right knee, which has patella tendinitis. The team deemed the procedure unnecessary, but Gerut would prefer to have it after having a second opinion. As a result, the team is refusing to pay Gerut's $875,000 salary or for the surgery.
No decision on the matter is expected Thursday. It could take several days to be rendered. It also is possible the Pirates and Gerut could settle on their own.
Greg Bouris, spokesman for the Players Association, declined to offer specifics about the grievance.
On the morning of March 31, the penultimate day of spring training, the Pirates informed Gerut he was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis. Less than an hour later, Gerut told reporters he was healthy enough to play. Later that night, according to the Pirates, he phoned general manager Dave Littlefield to say he was injured.
Littlefield consistently has maintained Gerut is healthy enough to play, and he said last night his position has not changed.
Asked if there might be a settlement, he replied: "We'll see how the hearing plays out."
Craig Landis, Gerut's agent, has not returned calls for more than a week.