ATLANTA -- If conversation is progress, then the Braves are at least moving toward the possibility of bringing Tom Glavine back to Atlanta.
Braves general manager John Schuerholz still won't publicly comment on the club's potential interest in Glavine. But the veteran pitcher's agent, Gregg Clifton, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday night that there has been some dialogue.
"There's been a few very pleasant conversations with the Braves, who have expressed interest in having Tommy back," Clifton said on the AJC's Web site. "But as of now, [there have been] no formal discussions about any terms that the Braves would be wiling to offer Tom for him to return."
If the Braves truly want to bring Glavine back, they'll need to act quickly. The veteran hurler has promised the Mets that he'll make a decision by the start of the Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday at Disney World in Orlando.
"The bottom line, he's promised the Mets he'll figure it out by the start of the Winter Meetings," Clifton said in Wednesday's Bergen Record. "That's all I can say."
Clifton told the AJC that he also hasn't received a financial offer from the Mets, for whom Glavine played the past four seasons. The veteran hurler began his Major League career with Atlanta in 1987 and remained with the Braves through the end of the 2002 season.
There is a general consensus that Glavine wants to return to Atlanta where he can be close to his wife and children, who still reside in one of the city's suburbs.
Glavine would also like the opportunity to be wearing a Braves uniform as he chases the possibility of becoming the 23rd pitcher in Major League history to reach the hallowed 300-win milestone. His 15-win 2006 season leaves him just 10 shy of that mark.
But in order to pitch for the Braves, Glavine will need to leave a large sum of money on the table. The Braves won't be able to financially compete with any offer made by the Mets.
If Glavine returns to Atlanta, he'll likely need to accept a one-year offer in the neighborhood of $7 million. The Mets will likely offer an annual salary of at least $11 million.
In addition, the Mets are much more likely to provide the no-trade clause that Glavine desires. He wants to protect himself from the possibility that the Braves could fall out of the playoff race and deal him in the middle of the season.
Throughout his long career as a general manager, Schuerholz has made it a practice not to include such a clause. John Smoltz, Chipper Jones and Greg Maddux never received one. And before the Gary Sheffield trade was completed before the 2003 season, Sheffield had to void the no-trade clause in his contract.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.