This shocking move came just days after Glavine had thrown six scoreless innings in his latest rehab start. The Braves claim they released Glavine because his velocity was down, but skeptics believe the move was spurred by financial concerns.
Glavine was to be paid $1 million for his first day on the active roster, $1.25 million for 30 days on the roster, and another $1.25 million for 90 days on the roster, bringing the total possible value of the deal to $4.5 million.
The Braves didn’t feel they could get $4.5 million worth of production out of Glavine at this stage in his career, and they opted to release the 305-game winner and call up super-prospect Tommy Hanson instead.
The question now becomes, where does Tom Glavine go next?
The way I see it, there are three logical options for Glavine at this point in his career.
Glavine could decide that it’s not worth the time and effort to continue rehabbing while adjusting to life with a new team and city.
When he signed with Atlanta before the 2008 season, he had made it clear he wanted to finish up his career where it started, so it is possible that Glavine will take the opportunity to just hang up the spikes, wait five years, and receive his phone call welcoming him to the Hall of Fame.
The thing is, Glavine is a fiery competitor and undoubtedly feels scorned. If that is the case, a very focused and determined Glavine could be a wonderful midseason addition to a number of teams—but only two come to mind.
The Mets are the only other organization that Glavine has pitched for and likely the only other organization he would consider pitching for again. Despite the intense media coverage and the fickle fanbase, Glavine seemed comfortable in New York for the majority of his tenure with the Mets.
Right now the lasting memory of Glavine in New York is his implosion on the final day of the 2007 season, when he gave up seven earned runs in one-third of an inning and the Mets lost the division crown to the Phillies. In re-signing with the Mets, Glavine would be given a chance at redemption.
More so, the Mets could really use Glavine right now—even if he is just rounding out the back end of the rotation—as the prospect of Tim Redding and Livan Hernandez pitching in a pennant race is almost mind-numbing.
If those reasons aren’t enough, how about this fun little fact: the Mets and Braves play each other 13 times between now and the end of the year. Just ponder the hype and hysteria around four Tom Glavine/Tommy Hanson matchups.
If Glavine doesn’t land back in New York and doesn’t call it quits, there is only one other logical destination.
The Red Sox already have a wealth of starting pitching depth, but as the old adage goes...“you can never have enough pitching.”
In addition to an abundance of arms, the Red Sox also have three other things to lure Glavine: John Smoltz, a championship-caliber team, and six games against the Braves at the end of June.
Smoltz and Glavine are still good friends, and Smoltz has already been very vocal about the way the Braves treated Glavine. A reunion in Boston does not seem out of the question.
The Red Sox currently are one of the stronger teams in the American League and figure to be in the mix for a playoff spot come October. The opportunity to win another World Series ring could be enough to convince Glavine to migrate north for one final summer in the sun.
One more time, I’ve got to mention the importance of the head-to-head matchups with the Braves. Athletes have egos—they have to in order to survive at that high of a level. Those egos can be easily bruised, and the best remedy for a bruised ego is revenge. Don’t think for a second that Glavine wouldn’t relish the opportunity to beat the Braves.
What Tom Glavine ultimately decides to do is still on his shoulders, but in my opinion these are the three most logical options for Glavine at this point. Signing with any other team feels sort of anti-climactic, and rehabbing all year in hopes of coming back in 2010 seems highly unlikely.
Luckily, Glavine can rest assured that no matter which road he chooses, they all lead to the Hall of Fame.