|Tuesday, November 26
Updated: November 27, 10:31 AM ET
Mets might balk at Glavine's demand for fourth season
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- Tom Glavine made his counterproposal on Tuesday, asking the Braves, Mets and Phillies to give him a $45 million, four-year contract.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner was awaiting responses from the teams. New York and Philadelphia have offered three-year contracts and Atlanta has proposed a two-year deal with a team option for 2005.
''Everybody got the same proposal,'' said Glavine's agent, Gregg Clifton. ''That was one of the things Tom insisted on, to make sure every team understood there was no favoritism going on.''
Glavine and Clifton decided that rather than wait for a second round of offers to dribble in piecemeal, they would take this step -- of asking for a guaranteed fourth season -- and see how the three teams respond, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported. The Mets (three years, $28.5 million guaranteed), Phillies (three years, $27 million) and Braves (two years, $18 million, plus a vesting option for a third year) had originally been focusing on three-year deals.
The Mets, at least, were taken aback by Glavine's dispatch, and were considering how to make it clear they wouldn't give in to the pitcher's demands, according to Wednesday's New York Times.
One Mets official told the Times that Clifton had "overreached" and indicated that the Mets' response would not include a guaranteed fourth year.
"The purpose of doing this, from Tom's point of view, is that he wants the Mets and Phillies to understand that he's not trying to do a behind-the-scenes deal with the Braves," Clifton said. "If the Braves want to be in it, there's no hometown discount or hometown advantage, and he wants to negotiate with them the same way he negotiates with the other teams."
Clifton said Glavine won't be making a decision on where to play "until next week, at the earliest."
Glavine would be 40 in the final season of a four-year deal and he said last week that he wasn't necessarily looking for his 2006 salary to be fully guaranteed.
Phillies officials have said they think Glavine will wind up re-signing with the Braves, the only major league team he's played for.
''I don't really have a feel whether he's going to go back to Atlanta or not,'' Mets general manager Steve Phillips said from a cruise ship in the Caribbean. ''We can only do what we can do. We made a strong pitch, I think, the day Tom was in town.''
Glavine, one of baseball's premier left-handers, visited the Mets on Thursday and the Phillies on Friday.
''We're at the point where we're really willing to take the next step and fill in gaps with significant players,'' Philadelphia general manager Ed Wade said Tuesday after introducing his first free-agent signing of the offseason, third baseman David Bell.
Philadelphia also is after first baseman Jim Thome, increasing its offer to $95 million over six seasons.
Phillips isn't sure that Glavine would immediately agree to a contract, even if a team met his request.
''I didn't get the sense that it was a 'If you take it, we've got a deal proposal,'' the Mets GM said.
Glavine, 18-11 with a 2.96 ERA this year, hasn't been happy with the Braves, who at first offered only a one-year contract. Braves general manager John Schuerholz declined comment on the pitcher's proposal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.