2009 NEWS

2009 NEWS > 2/11/09


By Carroll Rogers
Original Article HERE.

Tom Glavine met with Braves general manager Frank Wren on Wednesday in an attempt, he said, to get creative in working out a one-year contract.

Glavine wants an incentive-laden deal that is worth more than the Braves’ original offer to him, one based largely on proving he’s healthy. Glavine also said he’s willing to defer salary to work within the constraints of the Braves’ 2009 payroll.

“I’m willing to come back for a discount, and I’m willing to earn most of that discount,” Glavine said. “I’ve tried to be creative in eliminating as much risk for them as I can.”

Glavine, who turns 43 in March, is coming off August surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow and wear-and-tear damage in his shoulder.

He has worked back up to 75 pitches without problems and threw last week in front of Braves manager Bobby Cox and pitching coach Roger McDowell.

The Braves offered Glavine a one-year deal, worth $1 million guaranteed and up to $3 million with incentives based on time on the active roster.

While Glavine is looking for an increase in guaranteed money, he said that wasn’t as important to him as seeing a bump in the incentives portion. He didn’t discuss specifics but could be seeking as much as $5 to $6 million if he makes 25-30 starts.

“We haven’t really gotten into the specifics of [performance parameters], because they’ve kind of been reluctant to even talk to me about an incentive package,” Glavine said.

One reason is the Braves have only about $7 million left to spend, and they are also trying to acquire a left fielder.

Bobby Abreu apparently is no longer an option, after reportedly reaching agreement with the Angels on Wednesday, but other possibilities are Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady of the Yankees.

“I understand they have budgetary concerns for this year, I’m sensitive to that,” Glavine said. “Believe me, if I come back and pitch for the Braves, I’d like them to get an outfielder.”

Wren declined comment other than to say “we had a good meeting” and that he met with Glavine and his agent Gregg Clifton for more than an hour.

Glavine said he wasn’t sure if the Braves would budge off their offer but didn’t think they were at a “take it or leave it” point either.

“It wasn’t like a ‘Hey, that’s all we got,’ ” Glavine said. “I just wanted them to understand how much I wanted to be back, how important it was to me to come back and to have the opportunity to go out there and earn my money. I wanted to make sure I did everything we could to make this happen, so that if it doesn’t, I can feel good about at least having exhausted all my options. But where it goes from here, I don’t know.”

Glavine expects Wren to speak with his agent again Thursday, but neither side has put a deadline on this. Glavine said he wants to be in camp by March but doesn’t need to be there when pitchers and catchers report Saturday.

If the Braves don’t raise their offer, Glavine said he would sit down with his wife and decide whether he wants to come back at a reduced cost, retire, or pitch elsewhere.

“I’m trying to explore everything I can here,” Glavine said. “If it gets to that point where it doesn’t work out, I’m going to have to sit down with Chris and the kids and figure out how badly I want to pitch and how willing I am to go do that somewhere else. Those are questions that are potentially out there, but I’m hopeful I don’t have to answer.”