Glavine signs with Mets

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 6, 2002

NEW YORK -- Tom Glavine, the most sought-after pitcher on the free-agent market, reached agreement with the New York Mets on a three-year contract, his agent said Thursday night.

Glavine, 36, had spent his whole career with the Atlanta Braves, winning two Cy Young Awards and posting five 20-win seasons.

But the Braves' NL East rivals, the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, showed much more interest in the left-hander than his old team. Atlanta has won 11 straight division titles.

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''It was one of the toughest decisions he's ever had to make,'' said his agent, Gregg Clifton. ''There wasn't really one thing that decided it. He just made a decision.''

Glavine was believed to have gotten a $35 million contract with a vesting option that could make the deal worth $42.5 million.

''We have reached an understanding with Tom Glavine on the structure of a multiyear contract,'' Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said. ''The completion of an agreement is subject to Tom passing a physical examination on Monday, Dec. 9.''

Braves president Stan Kasten, who was attending an Atlanta Hawks game at Philips Arena, declined comment. He said the team probably would hold a news conference Friday.

Fellow Cy Young winners Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux also are free agents, but have hardly generated interest so far in the offseason.

Glavine was 18-11 with a 2.96 ERA this year. He is 242-143 since making his major league debut with the Braves in 1987.

Glavine also happens to be the losingest pitcher in postseason history, going 12-15 overall. He has pitched well in some of those defeats, though he was hit hard by San Francisco last October in going 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA in the first round.