• 54°

Glavine signs with Mets

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.

''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.