In grievance, union says Astros terminated Chacon without just cause

NEW YORK -- The players' association filed a grievance Tuesday over the release of pitcher Shawn Chacon, saying the team's decision to terminate his contract was without just cause.

Chacon cleared waivers and was released Monday, five days after a physical altercation with Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade in the clubhouse.

Chacon had a $2 million salary this year, and the decision to terminate the contract meant $983,607 won't be paid. He also lost the chance to make up to $1 million in performance bonuses based on innings.

"The grievance alleges that he was unlawfully terminated and asked that he be made whole," said Michael Weiner, the union's general counsel.

The union alleged Chacon was disciplined without just cause under the collective bargaining agreement and terminated without just cause under the uniform player contract.

The 30-year-old pitcher was suspended after shoving Wade to the floor before the Astros played Texas last Wednesday. Wade said he had asked Chacon to come into manager Cecil Cooper's office for a meeting. Chacon refused, and the confrontation ensued.

The Astros said Chacon violated a provision in the UPC that states the player may be terminated if he shall "fail, refuse, or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey to the club's training rules."

Chacon was 2-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 15 starts this season. He set a major league record for a starting pitcher with nine straight no-decisions to open the season.