Chacon, GM reportedly have scuffle
What pitcher calls confrontation, Wade says is insubordination
HOUSTON -- Astros right-hander Shawn Chacon, unhappy with being moved from the rotation to the bullpen, has informed the Astros he wants to be traded and has been suspended indefinitely by the team, possibly stemming from a physical altercation between Chacon and general manager Ed Wade.
"We have opted to suspend Shawn Chacon pending final resolution of whatever move we end up making with him," Wade said during Wednesday's night game against Texas.
According to multiple sources, Wade and Astros manager Cecil Cooper attempted to meet with Chacon shortly before the game. The conversation quickly grew heated and a scuffle ensued.
Chacon did not return phone and text messages to MLB.com but told the Houston Chronicle he grabbed Wade by the neck and threw him to the ground.
"He started yelling and cussing," Chacon told the Chronicle. "I'm sitting there and I said to him very calmly, 'Ed, you need to stop yelling at me. Then I stood up and said, 'You better stop yelling at me.' I stood up. He continued and was basically yelling and stuff and was like, 'You need to ... look in the mirror.' So at that point I lost my cool and I grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground. I jumped on top of him because at that point I wanted to beat his ... Words were exchanged."
Chacon recalled players coming quickly to separate the two, with outfielder Reggie Abercrombie pulling him away.
"Maybe it shouldn't have happened," Chacon told the Chronicle. "But when you do those things and you're yelling at somebody and you're cussing you better know what type of person you're dealing with. If there's any regret, I just wish they had just let me alone. I wish they had left me alone."
Wade said Chacon had been suspended indefinitely for "insubordination to the club."
Chacon earlier had told a Houston television station of his desire to be traded.
"I am in the bullpen, unhappy about it," Chacon told KRIV-TV shortly before Houston's clubhouse was closed to the media Wednesday evening. "I don't agree with the decision and at this point I would say if they don't want me to start for them they should make it all good for both sides and trade me to a team that might need a starter because I am sure there are other teams that do.
"My agent and I have made it clear to the Astros that I would like to be traded and I don't want to pitch out of the bullpen. Nothing negative, nothing dramatic. It's simple. If you don't want me to start, let me go somewhere else to start because that's what I signed here for."
Wade said Chacon hadn't asked him for a trade.
"Evidently he asked the media," Wade said. "He didn't have the right to demand a trade. His agent talked to me a couple of days ago but that had nothing to do with the suspension today."
Wade would not divulge the reasons for the suspension.
"I'm not getting into the details. It's an internal matter," Wade said.
It is uncertain whether the suspension is without pay and whether the club will be short a roster spot until Chacon's status is determined.
"We have to look into all the various aspects," Wade said. "We have to talk to Major League Baseball before we take whatever action we feel is appropriate."
Chacon is 2-3 with a 5.04 ERA. He was 2-0 in May with a 4.75 ERA but is 0-3 since with an ERA of 9.35. He opened the season with a Major League-record nine consecutive no-decisions. Cooper informed Chacon on Sunday that he was being moved to the bullpen.
Chacon, signed to a one-year, $2 million contract during Spring Training, told KRIV he would want his release if the Astros can't work out a trade.
"It wasn't too hard [a decision]," Chacon said. "It's simple. That's why I turned down other offers in the offseason to be in bullpens for more money to have a chance to be a starter."
Wade suspended Chacon shortly before game time.
"The bottom line is we took him out of the rotation on Monday basically on merit," Wade said. "He'd had 10 starts since late April that were up and down. The last three starts, four starts, were not very good.
"We had hoped that he would help us in the bullpen and, unfortunately, we're at a point right where we think it's in our best interests to go ahead and move forward."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.