2009 NEWS

2009 NEWS > 1/27/09


By Mark Bowman
Original Article HERE.

ATLANTA -- Having received a clean bill of health from Dr. James Andrews, Tom Glavine is now looking forward to the opportunity to gain a better understanding about the potential of prolonging his career with the Braves.

Glavine is scheduled to meet with general manager Frank Wren later this week. Though he's not necessarily expecting to receive any sort of offer, the veteran southpaw is hoping to exit with the same kind of encouragement that was created on Monday, when he visited Andrews.

Finding nothing wrong with the left elbow and left shoulder that he surgically repaired during the same procedure in August, Andrews gave Glavine clearance to enhance his workload while throwing off a mound.

In addition, Andrews told Glavine that he could be ready to pitch in Spring Training games at the beginning of March.

Because he's still attempting to strengthen his elbow and shoulder, Glavine isn't using the same effort that he might have while throwing off the mound at this point during previous offseasons.

But Glavine felt no discomfort while throwing 60 pitches during a mound session on Tuesday, and if the same holds true when he throws 75 pitches later this week, he'll redirect his rehab efforts by lessening the volume of pitches while throwing with greater intensity.

While throwing off the mound for the past few weeks, Glavine has reached the point where the Braves feel comfortable to talk to him about his future with the club. They'd intended to do the same with John Smoltz, but Smoltz signed with the Red Sox before the Braves reached a point where they felt comfortable about sitting down and negotiating with him.

Now Glavine finds himself as the lone organizational icon looking for the chance to remain a part of Atlanta's starting rotation. But his desire to pitch for the Braves isn't likely to going to lead him to accept a Minor League contract.

"I don't know if they'll officially offer me anything or not [later this week]," Glavine said. "I don't know if it's going to be that kind of meeting. I'm not sure. I guess I'm going into it completely open-minded. But I'm looking forward to it, because I want to know what they have to say and because of how I feel and where I am."

With the confidence that he'll remain pain-free and regain the strength that allows him to consistently throw his fastball in the upper 80s, Glavine is simply looking for a fair offer. Though he's not saying exactly what he wants, there's certainly reason to believe that he'd be looking for an incentive-laden package that would include a respectable guaranteed base.

Looking to avoid some of the negative reaction they received upon Smoltz's departure, the Braves will likely make an attempt to keep Glavine. But with approximately $6 million to $7 million left to spend and the desire to acquire an outfielder, they may not have the available funds to create an offer that the 42-year-old hurler would deem to be fair.

If Glavine is simply looking for a $3 million contract with incentives that could double his guaranteed funds, the Braves would find themselves with little minimal funds available in their search for an outfielder.

Given that they already have Jorge Campillo, Charlie Morton, Jo-Jo Reyes, James Parr and Tommy Hanson available to compete for the fifth spot in their rotation, the Braves seemingly have a greater need to find that outfielder.

As the market for free-agent outfielder Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu continues to drop, the Braves are becoming more intrigued with them. But it's hard to believe that either of them could be acquired for anything less than an offer that would provide them $5 million for the upcoming season.

Trading with the Yankees for either Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady would also eat up most of Atlanta's available funds. Swisher will make $5.3 million this year, and Nady will draw a salary of $6.55 million.

With this being said, the Braves understand the value Glavine could bring their organization on the mound, in the clubhouse and in the community. Thus there's no reason to rule out the possibility that he could spend the 23rd season of his Major League career with the same organization that gave him his start back in 1987.