2006 NEWS

2006 News > 11/9/06


By Marty Noble, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

NEW YORK -- One day before the deadline for him to exercise his contractual option and, thereby, put himself on the Mets roster for 2007, Tom Glavine exercised another right and filed for free agency, underscoring his indecision about his immediate future and the uncertainty of the Mets' offseason.

The filing was done provisionally to protect Glavine's rights in case he eventually does decide to leave the Mets, but in no way is an indication that he intends to. Filing is simply a procedural move that any player eligible for free agency and not signed for the ensuing season is advised to make.

Indeed, Glavine said Thursday night that he isn't close to deciding for whom he wants to pitch the 2007 season, which could be his last. Speaking by telephone from his home outside Atlanta, he indicated his decision probably won't be made until late this month.

"I pretty much told [Mets COO Jeff Wilpon] that I won't hang him up on this, that I'll probably let him know before the winter meetings," Glavine said.

The winter meetings, scheduled for Dec. 4-7, begin two weeks after the last day the Mets can exercise their option on his contract and force Glavine to return.

"It was a foregone conclusion that I wouldn't exercise my option [for $7.5 million], just like I don't expect them to exercise theirs [for $14 million]," Glavine said.

If he were to return, his salary would be a figure in between the two. But Glavine said money isn't any kind of determining factor, and that, as he has said since Spring Training, family considerations -- proximity and convenience -- are.

He also noted that he has no sense of the desires of the Braves, the only club other than the Mets with which he would sign. Until he filed Thursday, Glavine and his representatives were prohibited from speaking with any club other than the Mets. And until the free agent filing period ends Saturday, they are prohibited from talking with any club other than the Mets about contract terms.

Glavine was so torn between the Mets and Braves in December 2002 that after he agreed to sign with the Mets, he contacted the Braves and was prepared to reverse himself. He acknowledged as much during Spring Training after Braves general manager John Schuerholz disclosed that scenario, straining the relationship between the two.

Whether that strain, on-going austerity and Glavine's 41st birthday -- in March -- are issues for the Braves is an unknown, as is Glavine's preference -- even to him.

"I'm a little surprised that I have so little sense of what I'm going to do," Glavine said. "I'm listing all the positives for [the Mets and Braves] in columns and trying to assess what I have as educatedly as I can. I don't want to jump at any one thing, and I'm trying not to be overly influenced by how much I'm enjoying myself being home now.

"The Mets have been great about it. They've left me alone. The only time I've talked to them recently is when there was a report that I was going to sign a two-year contract. They've been patient with me, and I appreciate that. I know they need an answer."

What the Mets don't need is a "no thank you" from the pitcher who won 15 games last season. They won 24 of his 32 starts, too.

The Mets already have decided against re-signing Steve Trachsel, who also won 15 games, and stand to lose Orlando Hernandez if he chooses to use his free agency to flee. With Pedro Martinez unlikely to pitch in the big leagues until August -- if then -- the Mets could enter the winter meetings without four pitchers who accounted for 105 of their 162 starts and 48 of their 97 victories