Hampton, Glavine become free agents
Braves express interest in possibly bringing both back
ATLANTA -- While it seems likely that he'll be pitching again next year, Mike Hampton doesn't know where he'll be employed. As for Tom Glavine, he's still waiting to see if he'll have the opportunity to prolong his storied career.
Hampton and Glavine both filed for free agency Wednesday. The Braves have said they may have an interest in bringing back both of these veteran left-handed pitchers, but it might be awhile before they make a decision regarding either hurler.
Glavine underwent season-ending elbow surgery in August and still doesn't know whether he'll be physically capable to continue pitching at his desired level. As for Hampton, he resuscitated his career after returning to the mound on July 26, after being sidelined for nearly three full years because of multiple injuries.
Hampton, who went 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA in his final nine starts this season, has said that he'd like to repay the Braves for their loyalty by returning next year. But while proving effective and dependable during the season's final two months, he enhanced his value and the demand he'll garner from other teams on the free-agent market.
If he's able to pitch, Glavine has said that he'd likely only pitch for the Braves. When the 42-year-old southpaw returned to the Braves last year after a five-season stint with the Mets, his primary reason was to spend more time with his family in their suburban Atlanta home.
Entering the 2008 season, Glavine had made 669 career starts and tallied 303 career wins without going on the disabled list. But a hamstring injury and his left elbow, which began bothering him in early May, caused him to make three trips to the DL. He went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts this year.
Glavine is currently rehabbing and hopes to start throwing in December. At that time, he'll have a better sense of whether he'll be able to attempt to add to his 305 career wins.
Hampton's injury woes continued this season, when he tore his left pectoral muscle approximately 10 minutes before making his first scheduled start. After missing most of the season's first four months, he ended up making 13 consecutive starts, going 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.