Major Leagues: Glavine back with Braves
KISSIMMEE, Fla. ó Tom Glavine has more wins than any other active pitcher. He’ll get a chance to add to that total for at least one more season.
Glavine completed a $1 million, one-year contract Friday with the Atlanta Braves that could be worth another $3.5 million in bonuses based on how much time he spends on the active roster.
While the 305-game winner is eager to make up for last season’s injury-plagued performance, Glavine knows this will be a different role than the one he had so many years in Atlanta. Twenty-win seasons, Cy Young awards and opening day starts are a thing of the past.
He’ll be the fifth man in a five-man rotation, the guy who gets skipped over from time to time to ensure the top four starters maintain their regular schedule.
“I don’t necessarily want to be the guy who has to pitch 220 innings and win every time he goes to the mound,” said Glavine, who turns 43 next month. “I’m looking forward to this stage of my career where I don’t have to deal with that kind of pressure and can be more of a complement to our rotation.”
The left-hander made only 13 starts a year ago for Atlanta, going 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA before his season was cut short by a partially torn tendon in his elbow. It was the first time in a 22-year career that he had been on the disabled list.
“I had a sense of unfinished business,” Glavine said. “I didn’t want my career to end the way it did last year.”
While the Braves quickly added Glavine’s name above an empty locker in their spring training clubhouse, he’ll continue his rehab in Atlanta before joining the Braves at their Walt Disney World complex during the first week of March.
The signing was well-received by Glavine’s teammates, still reeling just a bit from being jilted by Ken Griffey Jr.
“He’s a Hall of Fame guy who knows how to pitch,” outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “I think he’s still got 13 or 14 wins in him.”
Glavine isn’t setting those sort of lofty goals, but he is eager to bounce back from the first serious injury of his career. He underwent surgery on his elbow, and had his shoulder cleaned out at the same time.
“My only goal this year is to be healthy,” he said. “In my prime, that meant winning 20 games. Where I am now, maybe it’s winning 10 or 15.”
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