Glavine indicates he'll pitch in '08
Veteran files for free agency, 'pretty sure' career will continue
NEW YORK -- The disappointment of the Mets' shortfall behind him and with his 42nd birthday five months away, Tom Glavine has all but decided to extend what almost certainly is a Hall of Fame career.
On the day he filed for free agency, a procedural move he identified as "just a formality," Glavine also said, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to play. I'm just beginning the process."
Whether he will continue his career with the Mets or the Braves remains undecided. The Mets want Glavine back in their rotation; whether the Braves want him after a five-year sabbatical isn't clear. Both teams need depth in their rotations. Glavine has said repeatedly he would pitch for no other franchise.
He became the 10th Mets player to file and the fourth of the 10 who the Mets have interest in re-signing. General manager Omar Minaya said Wednesday afternoon he had no sense of what the veteran pitcher intended to do. But Glavine said in an e-mail Wednesday night that he is "pretty sure" of pitching again.
He was swayed by his on-the-field success in the 2007 season. Before he pitched poorly in his last three starts, losing two of them, he had a 13-6 record and 3.88 ERA, and the Mets had won 18 of the 31 games he started. The team's collapse and his role in it, he said, were not representative of his greater body of work -- and therefore not part of his thought process as he weighed whether to pitch again. Late in the season, before the collapse eliminated the Mets from the postseason, he said he had enjoyed '07 as much as any season.
Glavine declined to exercise his contractual option for 2008 in the five-day period that followed the Mets' season. The contract obligated him to make a decision within five days, and he wasn't prepared to make a decision so quickly.
Not exercising the option didn't preclude him from re-signing with the Mets, and at the time, he didn't discount the possibility of re-signing with them.
The club, however, has suspected he would prefer to re-sign with the Braves so he could spend more time during the school months pitching close to his home in Alpharetta, Ga.
Involved with moving to a new home, Glavine said Tuesday he had made no decision regarding his baseball future. And his e-mail Wednesday was conditional: "I'm pretty sure..." He said shortly after the season that he probably wouldn't make a final decision about pitching and returning to the Mets until late November.
The Mets are the only club permitted to negotiate with him until the filing period ends Nov. 12. Other clubs, however, may contact him now that he has filed.
The club has interest in re-signing him because it has no other pitcher on its roster who could replace his production -- 200 innings and 13 victories last season. Even with the Mets losing his last three starts, their record in Glavine's starts in the last two seasons was 42-24.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.