Maddux deal to Braves seems unlikely
Veteran likes idea, but Atlanta focusing on young players
SAN DIEGO -- Greg Maddux isn't exactly the nostalgic type. But he admits that he allowed himself to think about the possibility that he was facing the Braves for the final time in his career on Saturday night at PETCO Park.
"I did, but I've thought about that every time I've faced them over the last couple of years," Maddux said before the start of Sunday afternoon's series finale between the Padres and Braves at PETCO Park.
What differentiates this year from the previous ones is the fact that Maddux has admitted retirement is a strong possibility at the end of this season. He provided initial indication before Spring Training and he's still carrying the same train of thought.
"I'm probably thinking about it more," Maddux said. "We'll see. We'll play out the year. Hopefully I get a chance to decide."
With this potential retirement right around the corner, it seems very likely that Maddux will never again face the Braves, who employed him while he notched 194 of his 350 career wins from 1993-2003. If this is the case, he provided a good last impression, allowing them three earned runs in seven innings on Saturday night.
"He'll still carve you up as good as anybody in baseball," said Braves manager Bobby Cox, who had the pleasure of sending Maddux to the mound once every five days for more than a decade.
With a complete no-trade clause in his contract, Maddux could easily end this season with the Padres. He loves the San Diego lifestyle and the fact that he's close to his family residence in Las Vegas.
When asked where he could see himself playing during the final two months of this season, Maddux said, "Here or for the Dodgers, but I don't think the Dodgers need any pitching."
Because the Braves are focused on developing their young pitchers and seemingly have a greater need to acquire offensive help, there is a very slim chance they'd attempt to acquire him and assume the approximate $3.33 million salary remaining on his contract for this year.
If the Braves came calling, Maddux says he'd likely approve the trade because his family would approve of the two-month transition back to the East Coast. His wife, Kathy, and his children visited friends in Atlanta for the Fourth of July.
"That would be a possibility," Maddux said. "That would be easy for me with my family. At this point of my career, it's family first and baseball second. That would fit for my family."
Still it doesn't seem to be a fit for the Braves and that is why Maddux might never again pitch in the presence of Cox. The Braves aren't scheduled to play the Dodgers or Padres again this season.
If it was, Maddux feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to have had the opportunity to learn from Cox, who he credits with teaching him the utmost importance of every, pitch, at-bat and game.
"It was good to look over there and still see [Cox]," Maddux said. "I still use some of the stuff he used to say because that's how you're supposed to play the game."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.