Inside Pitch: Glavine won't hang up Mets

Tom Glavine is the Mets' top priority.

Just because Tom Glavine filed for free agency doesn't mean he won't return to the Mets in 2007 at age 41 in search of his 300th career victory.

Glavine said he only would pitch for the Mets or the Braves, and filing is part of the process that ensures he would be able to negotiate with Atlanta.

Glavine declined his $7.5 player option on Nov. 10, and the Mets aren't expected to pick up their club option for $14 million. The team must decide by Nov. 20.

It is anticipated the sides will reach a compromise position, and Glavine said he probably would make a decision by the end of the month. His family wants him to pitch in Atlanta, where Glavine has a home.

"I pretty much told (Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon) that I won't hang him up on this, that I'll probably let him know before the winter meetings," Glavine said.

The earliest the Braves can speak money with Glavine is Nov. 12.

"I am a little surprised that I have so little sense of what I'm going to do," Glavine said. "The Mets have been great about it. They've left me alone. The only time I've talked to them recently is when there was a report that I was going to sign a two-year contract. They've been patient with me, and I appreciate that. I know they need an answer."

NOTES, QUOTES

  • 2B Jose Valentin, who had a solid season after bumping Kaz Matsui from the starting job, agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Mets. Valentin had filed for free agency after the season. He hit .271 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs this year, his first with the Mets but his 15th in the major leagues.

  • RHP Pedro Martinez reported progress in his rehab after rotator cuff surgery but said retirement isn't out of the question if there is a setback. "It's getting better, and progress is above all what is hoped for," Martinez said. "To go back, I have to recover. I have to be healthy. But if God doesn't want that, then I would have to think about giving it all up." Martinez isn't expected to throw off the mound until June and isn't expected back before the All-Star break.

  • LHP Tom Glavine filed for free agency two days prior to the deadline. Glavine he declined his player option for $7.5 million, and the Mets aren't expected to exercise their club option of $14 million by Nov. 20. The sides are expected to meet somewhere in the middle. Glavine's family would like him to pitch in Atlanta. Glavine said the Mets and the Braves are the only teams he would consider.

  • Third base coach Manny Acta is being considered for the managerial position in Washington.

  • 1B Carlos Delgado will not exercise his right to seek a trade and said he plans to spend the remainder of his career with the Mets. Because Delgado was traded from Florida to the Mets during a life of a free agent contract, he could have sought a trade.

    But Delgado, 34, appeared to enjoy his first campaign with the Mets, a reversal after he spurned an offer from the team to sign a four-year, $52 million contract with Florida in January 2005.

  • RHP Steve Trachsel, who won 15 games for the Mets last season, is a free agent and is not expected to be pursued by the team.

  • The Mets are expected to continue negotiations with manager Willie Randolph on a contract extension.
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