ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves have made an offer to Tom Glavine, but the 300-game winner hasn’t decided whether to accept a significant pay cut.
With the start of spring training just a week away, general manager Frank Wren confirmed Sunday the Braves recently offered a contract to Glavine, who’s hoping to return for at least one more season after going down last year with the first serious injury of his career.
Glavine, who underwent elbow and shoulder surgery, has resumed throwing without any pain and could be an effective fifth starter in a rotation that includes offseason acquisitions Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Japanese all-star Kenshin Kawakami. The Braves also have 13-game winner Jair Jurrjens.
Wren would not discuss details of the offer of Glavine, but media reports said it would include a base salary of less than $2 million. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Glavine could earn up to $3 million, including incentives, if he remained healthy through the season.
Glavine, who spent the first 16 years of his career with the Braves before moving to the New York Mets for five seasons, returned to Atlanta in 2008 for an $8 million contract.
The Braves, who still hope to add a power-hitting outfielder, aren’t willing to offer nearly as much money to a pitcher who will turn 43 before the start of the season and is coming off major surgery. Glavine made only 13 starts last season, going 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA.
During the offseason, Atlanta lost another longtime stalwart of its rotation when John Smoltz, also in his 40s and rehabbing from season-ending surgery, took a more lucrative offer from the Boston Red Sox. Smoltz had spent his entire career with the Braves.
“There’s a point where it’s worth going back and going through everything you go through, good and bad, in getting ready and going through a baseball season — and a point where it’s not,” Glavine told the Atlanta newspaper. “There’s a price for everything. I don’t know how to say that without someone getting offended. In every business, there’s a price that makes it worthwhile.”
Glavine and his agent, Gregg Clifton, did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press on Sunday.
With the retirement of former teammate Greg Maddux, Glavine would be the leader among active pitchers with 305 wins if he returns. He needs two to pass Eddie Plank for 20th on the career list.
After surgery, Glavine said he wouldn’t return for another season with any team other than the Braves. During the offseason, he hinted he might reconsider that stance if another team was seriously interested.