Monday, February 23, 2009

Braves and Pitcher Tom Glavine Agree to Terms on 2009 Contract

The Atlanta Braves announced Friday that they have agreed to terms with future Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine on a one-year contract for the 2009 season. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Glavine, who is still recovering from left elbow surgery, is expected to join the team at its spring training facility at Disney's Wide World of Sports in March.

A two-time National League Cy Young Award winner (1991 & 1998) and a 10-time N.L. All-Star, Glavine returned to the Braves in 2008 after pitching the previous five seasons for the New York Mets. He went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA and started just 13 games in an injury-shortened campaign. In April he was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his illustrious career, and he made two more trips to the D.L. by season's end, ultimately opting to have surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow on August 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

"We are very excited to have Tom back on our club for the 2009 season," Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. "We have followed his rehabilitation closely all winter and we are glad he is throwing so well. We hope he will be ready early in the season, and we expect him to be a big part of our pitching staff and a valuable leader on our club." Glavine owns a 305-203 career record and a 3.54 ERA in 682 games (all starts). He has compiled 244 of his wins in a Braves uniform. Glavine helped Atlanta to five World Series appearances in the 1990s and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1995 World Series, when the Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians.

A five-time 20-game winner, the 42-year-old Glavine joined an elite fraternity of pitchers when he posted the 300th victory of his career on August 5, 2007, at Chicago. Only 22 other pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball have reached that plateau, and all but two (Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux) are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Glavine ranks as the fourth-winningest left-handed pitcher in history, behind Warren Spahn (363), Steve Carlton (329) and Eddie Plank (326). Selected by the Braves in the second round of the 1984 draft, Glavine made his Major League debut in 1987. He won his first Cy Young Award in 1991, when he went 20-11 and helped the Braves win the first of five N.L. pennants in a nine-year period. Glavine earned his second Cy Young Award in 1998, leading the league with a 20-6 record, ranking third with a 2.47 ERA and again helping the Braves to an N.L. pennant.

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