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Braves still talking to Glavine, eyeing outfielders

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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From all accounts, Tom Glavine's meeting with the Braves on Wednesday went well. However, the Braves still consider the addition of an outfielder a greater priority than re-signing Glavine, and they're continuing to examine a number of free-agent and trade possibilities. Club officials, major-league sources say, would prefer a left-handed hitter, and are checking into the remaining free agents — Garret Anderson, Luis Gonzalez, Jim Edmonds and Ken Griffey Jr. A trade for the Yankees' Nick Swisher also remains possible, but the Braves almost certainly could land one of the free agents for less than the $5.3 million that Swisher will earn in 2009. The Braves are believed to have between $6 million and $8 million left to spend this off-season. Signing Glavine and one of the free-agent outfielders might be possible under their budget. "We continue to exchange ideas and try to figure out a formula that can work for both sides," Glavine's agent, Gregg Clifton, said. "What we hoped to accomplish was accomplished. The dialogue remains open." Said Braves general manager Frank Wren, "We've had good discussions and we're hopeful we can work something out." The Braves have offered Glavine the chance to make $3 million — a $1 million guarantee, $1 million if he made the Opening Day roster and $1 million if he was on the roster 60 days, a source said. Glavine, who is coming off minor elbow and shoulder operations, is seeking a guarantee of $3 million, plus incentives that could push the total value of his package into the $6 million range. He is willing to defer a portion of his salary. His goal is to retire as a Brave.
Glavine, who turns 43 on March 25, returned to the team last season on a one-year, $8 million free-agent contract. He went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts before undergoing his respective surgeries in August. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day. The Braves are set with their first four starters — right-handers Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami. They also have four candidates for the fifth spot — lefty Jo-Jo Reyes and righties Tommy Hanson, Charlie Morton and Jorge Campillo. Glavine initially said he only wanted to play in Atlanta; he lives with his wife and four children in Alpharetta, Ga. However, he has worked hard to rehabilitate his arm, and does not want to retire. The Nationals would represent an obvious possibility if Glavine chose to leave the Braves — he is close with Nats president Stan Kasten, a former Braves executive. Glavine, though, might be more inclined to consider contenders, particularly those on the east coast. He conceivably could delay signing a contract until March, when pitching openings are certain to arise due to injuries.
Tagged: Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, Nationals, Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Bobby Abreu, Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Jo-Jo Reyes, Jair Jurrjens, Charlie Morton

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