Washington Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon has filed a grievance against the team for failing to pay his salary during his team-imposed four-game suspension last season, according to multiple reports.
The Nationals suspended Papelbon for the season’s final four games after he put his hand around Bryce Harper’s neck in a confrontation during a loss to the Phillies on Sept. 27. According to the The Washington Post, Papelbon’s main argument in the grievance “is that there is no precedent for a team-issued suspension over such an incident.”
The grievance, filed by the MLBPA two days after the suspension, is likely to be heard in the spring, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The team considered it “obligatory.”
Speaking to MLB.com on Saturday, he said he has apologized to Harper.
“My mistake was doing that in the dugout in front of a camera,” Papelbon said. “I’ve got two young kids. They know that’s not right, but it happens. I fully apologize for doing that, but most of it’s handled in the tunnel. [Harper is] a competitor, too.”
Papelbon, 33, was acquired by the Nationals in a mid-season trade with the Phillies last year. His contract expires at the end of the coming season.
- Kenny Ducey