Sports Outside the Beltway

Tom Glavine Rejoins Braves

Future Hall of Famer pitcher Tom Glavine has rejoined the Atlanta Braves, the team where he spent his glory years.

Tom Glavine is coming home.

The 303-game winner returned to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, agreeing to an $8 million, one-year contract.

The agreement between the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner and the Braves was hammered out during weekend talks, said Glavine’s agent, Gregg Clifton. The pitcher already has taken a physical for Atlanta, the final formality in the deal.

The Braves needed less than a week to lure Glavine back after an acrimonious split in 2002 that led to him spending five seasons with the New York Mets. His old — make that new — team was expected to formally introduce him at a news conference Monday at Turner Field.

“While Tom is disappointed to be leaving New York and all of his friends and teammates there, he has an opportunity to go back to Atlanta to continue his career with the Braves,” Clifton told The Associated Press. “Ultimately, as everyone knows, Tom’s decision was tremendously influenced by the importance of his family being paramount in his life.”

Glavine, who is married and has four children, kept his primary home in suburban Atlanta even after he signed with the Mets, and it was clear the crafty left-hander wanted to finish his career with the Braves when he turned down a $13 million option to return to New York in 2008, taking a $3 million buyout. He then gave the Braves a bit of a hometown discount, something he wasn’t willing to do five years ago. The contract includes no performance bonuses.

Excellent news for both the Braves and Glavine. This is a very young team, except in its starting pitching rotation, and on the surface it’s a bit odd to add yet another guy at the end of his pitching career.

But Glavine is not just another guy. He’s still a premium pitcher and, at $8 million, is actually a bargain in this ridiculous market. If Glavine, John Smoltz, and Tim Hudson can all stay healthy — and, if by some miracle, Mike Hampton can pitch, too — this will be one awesome lineup.

As for Tommy, clearly, the man doesn’t need the money at this point in his life and the ability to see his family every night they’re not on the road is a huge plus. Hopefully, the fans who still hold his leadership role during the 1994 strike against him will welcome him back in a manner befitting one of the greatest players in the team’s history.

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