2009 NEWS

2009 NEWS > 1/29/09


By Mark Bowman
Original Article HERE.

ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine understands the Braves might not have the funds to satisfy his financial desire. But the veteran left-hander still remains hopeful he'll have the opportunity to pitch at least one more season in Atlanta.

While meeting with Braves general manager Frank Wren for breakfast in suburban Atlanta on Wednesday morning, Glavine provided an update about his health and indication of what he's seeking from a contractual perspective.

Glavine and Wren have shared a few phone conversations during the offseason, but this was the first time they met face-to-face to talk about the upcoming season.

"The meeting was more about letting him know how I feel [physically] and what my program will be leading up to the games during Spring Training," Glavine said. "I let him know that I'll be ready at the start of the regular season if there aren't any setbacks."

Glavine has been nothing but encouraged by the progress he's made since having his left elbow and left shoulder surgically repaired in August. His encouragement increased on Monday, when Dr. James Andrews told him he should be ready to pitch in Grapefruit League games during the first week of March.

While the Braves have some interest in giving Glavine the chance to strengthen the back end of their rotation, they have just $6 million to $7 million to satisfy both this interest and their need to acquire an outfielder.

Outfielders currently on Wren's radar include Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady. Each of these players would earn a salary of at least $5 million for the upcoming season, leaving very little for Glavine.

While not specifically indicating what he's seeking, Glavine knows he's in a position in which he likely would get an offer that includes a small guaranteed salary and incentives that would reward him if he's able to stay healthy and productive.

With the need to acquire an outfielder, the Braves may not have the funds to satisfy the guaranteed portion of Glavine's request, even if it were just $2 million or $3 million.

Because they have Jorge Campillo, Jo-Jo Reyes, James Parr, Charlie Morton and Tommy Hanson in place to potentially fill the fifth spot in the rotation, the greater need for the Braves is to upgrade an outfield mix that combined for just 27 home runs last year.

While recognizing him as one of the most respected players in their organization's history, the Braves also know that a healthy Glavine could prove to be a valuable asset on the mound and in the clubhouse.

Because of this, there's certainly a chance the Braves might find a way to be creative enough to acquire an outfielder and also provide Glavine the chance to be part of their starting rotation.

If the Braves aren't able to provide him an offer he views as respectable, Glavine recognized the possibility he could pitch elsewhere in 2009. But throughout this month, he repeatedly has said he hasn't even allowed himself to think about his options outside of Atlanta.