06/04/09 7:55 PM ET
Glavine move based solely on performance
Team executives say money not a factor in veteran's release
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
"All of our player personnel made a unanimous decision to go in the other direction of youth," chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk said.
When the Braves released Glavine on Wednesday, they revealed that the decision was based solely on their conclusion that he hadn't made the necessary progress while attempting to prove that his troublesome left shoulder was strong enough to allow him to find consistent success at the Major League level.
There has since been some wonder about the possibility that they were simply attempting to avoid having to provide Glavine the $1 million bonus he would have received once he was placed on the active roster.
But McGuirk, who is involved with all of the organization's financial matters, said that money was never part of the decision-making process. In addition, he said, he had structured the club's plans with the belief that Glavine would maximize the value of his one-year deal, which included incentives that would have allowed him to make $4.5 million this year.
"I wasn't involved in the decision whatsoever," McGuirk said. "The money was spent, as far as I was concerned. It was all about what direction the player-personnel people wanted to go, and, at the end of the day, what gave us the best chance to win."
When the Braves signed Glavine in February, they were encouraged by medical reports about his surgically repaired left shoulder, and persuaded by the respect they'd gained for the man, who had meant so much to the organization over the course of the past 20-plus years.
In addition, they did so with the confidence that he'd be ready to pitch on April 18 and thus be able to at least bridge the gap until June, when they'd projected Tommy Hanson to make his Major League debut.
Whereas Hanson has spent the past two months further proving why he's such a highly regarded prospect, Glavine has spent the past month struggling to provide the Braves reason to believe that his limited velocity would allow him to encounter success against big league hitters.
Still, the Braves say, they remained patient with the hope that Glavine would at least start showing the velocity and stuff that would provide the kind of encouragement that wasn't realized when he tossed six scoreless innings for Class A Rome in a Minor League rehab start on Tuesday night.
Though the Braves would have liked for Glavine to pitch against a higher level of competition on Tuesday, the veteran opted to remain close to home by making the approximate one-hour trip to Rome.
Thus, when the team once again received reports that Glavine had reason to believe he'd have trouble going through a Major League lineup multiple times during the course of a game, general manager Frank Wren was given the unenviable task of telling the hurler that he was being released.
"Nothing makes it easier," said team president John Schuerholz, who has collected 26 seasons as a Major League general manager. "It's just a process you have to endure. It's a process you have to deal with, and it's all about making the decisions that are focused on one thing -- What is the opinion that makes our organization and team better? Those decisions are tough to make sometimes, especially with a player of Tom's caliber and history and legacy and Hall of Fame stature."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.