When Tom Glavine found out he needed surgery on both his left elbow and left shoulder last year, the 42 year-old pitcher could have been forgiven for thinking his glittering career was finally at an end. However, following reconstructive surgery and a winter of intensive rehabilitation, Glavine felt increasingly confident he could pitch one more year and end his career on his own terms.
On Friday, that became a reality when the veteran signed a one-year deal with the Braves, which could be worth up to $4.5million. Glavine will receive a basic salary of just $1million and the rest in incentives, which are both fair and achievable. Once Glavine makes the active roster, he will earn a further $1m, with $1.25m after both 30 and 90 days.
This was the type of deal which could suit both parties. Glavine, approaching 43, was keen to end his career in his home-town of Atlanta, being close to his family and merely looking for a salary which would reflect what he felt he could contribute to the team. For the Braves, they have a reliable and experienced pitcher and a deal which addresses their only major concern of his ability to stay healthy.
Glavine will probably now serve as the fifth starter in the team, after Lowe, Vasquez, Jurrjens and Kawakami. Jorge Campillo will now work from the bullpen. Glavine's addition not only adds depth to the rotation, but brings a wealth of experience to the clubhouse, which can help to develop the prospects expected to shine over the coming months.
22 February 2009