2009 NEWS

2009 NEWS > 2/14/09


By David O'Brien
Original Article HERE.

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — With the Braves now willing to increase their contract offer to Tom Glavine through possible deferred payments, the veteran left-hander is optimistic about getting a deal done.

“We’ve talked about a lot of things the last three or four days — we’re making progress,” general manager Frank Wren said Saturday, which was reporting day for Braves pitchers and catchers.

Glavine, 42, continued his throwing program at home in Atlanta, but he could be close to signing with the Braves and heading south for spring training. The team’s first workout for pitchers and catchers is Sunday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, and the first full-squad workout is Wednesday.

“I am optimistic,” Glavine said. “The talks have been good.”

The only non-retired 300-game winner in baseball, Glavine is in the late stages of his recovery from August surgeries to repair a torn flexor tendon and clean out his throwing shoulder.

He has had no setbacks and expects to pitch in Grapefruit League games late in the first week of March. Based on his recovery timetable, Glavine should be ready when the season begins.

He would be penciled in for the fifth-starter spot in the Braves’ revamped, otherwise all-right-handed rotation, behind newcomers Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami and Jair Jurrjens.

The Braves made Glavine an initial offer with a $1 million guaranteed salary and a maximum of $2 million in added incentives based on making the opening-day roster and staying healthy 60 days.

Glavine wasn’t satisfied with the limited incentives. He asked them to offer more, and said he would defer any incentive payments to help the Braves stay within their 2009 payroll and pursue other needs.

The Braves were receptive, and the sides spent the past few days talking about structuring potential deferred incentives that could raise his maximum potential earnings to $4 million or $5 million.

It’s believed the Braves have about $6 million or slightly less to spend this season, and they would like to set aside some of it in case they can swing a deal for an outfielder now or fill a need later.

Before going 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts last season, Glavine had never been on the disabled list, and he had posted double-digit wins in 18 of 19 seasons and pitched 198 or more innings in 16 of the past 17 non-strike seasons.