Beltran, Mets have differing views of player's surgery

Carlos Beltran says the New York Mets made their request to delay knee surgery only after the operation was underway.

A day after his right knee was repaired, the All-Star center fielder contradicted the claims of team officials who said they asked him to delay surgery while the club’s medical staff evaluated his condition.

“I have done nothing but follow the directions of my doctors. Any accusations that I ignored or defied the team’s wishes are simply false,” Beltran said in a statement released Thursday by his agent, Scott Boras.

“No one from the team raised any issue until Wednesday, after I was already in surgery,” Beltran said. “I do not know what else I could have done.”

Boras claims Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek and trainer Ray Ramirez approved the surgery on Tuesday. Boras said chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon asked for the delay on Wednesday morning, when Dr. Richard Steadman already was removing cartilage fragments and inflammation, and shaving bone spurs.

Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Beltran had permission to be examined by Steadman, but the team “wanted to have the opportunity to digest the information, the diagnosis.”

Short hops

Major League Baseball says it is donating $1 million on behalf of the league and its 30 teams to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. … Baseball owners at a meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz., unanimously ratified a five-year contract with umpires. The deal is expected to be ratified by umpires on Monday. … Phillies closer Brad Lidge had his second surgery in three months – this one to remove loose bodies in his right knee. … Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson agreed to a $39 million, four-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said. … Jose Valverde and the Detroit Tigers reached a preliminary agreement on a $14 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The deal includes a $9 million option for 2012 and is subject to a physical. … First baseman Adam LaRoche and the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. … Atlanta Braves outfielder Melky Cabrera agreed to a $3.1 million, one-year contract to avoid arbitration. … Starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa ($5.6 million), second baseman Clint Barmes ($3,225,000) and reliever Taylor Buchholz ($1,055,000) agreed to one-year contracts with the Colorado Rockies, avoiding salary arbitration. … Reliever Hideki Okajima and the Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2.75 million, one-year contract.