Braves execs: Glavine decision was unanimous

A day after the Braves released franchise icon Tom Glavine, high-ranking team executives reiterated general manager Frank Wren's explanation that the move was unanimously agreed upon by team officials and made solely for competitive reasons.

The Braves dropped the 43-year-old left-hander and announced that top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson would be brought from Class AAA Gwinnett to take the rotation spot that had appeared earmarked for Glavine once he was healthy.

"All of our player personnel [officials] made a unanimous decision to go in the other direction, of youth," Braves CEO Terry McGuirk said Thursday. "That's good enough for me."

Glavine, a 305-game winner and two-time Cy Young Award winner, was told of his release Wednesday during a meeting with Wren, manager Bobby Cox, and president John Schuerholz, the longtime former general manager.

"That was a big organizational moment," said Schuerholz, the longtime former GM. "It was appropriate and respectful of Tom that we were all there."

Glavine pitched six scoreless innings for Class A Rome Tuesday in what he thought would be his final rehab start before being activated. He was on the disabled list recovering from August shoulder and elbow surgeries.

He signed a one-year, $1 million contract in February, and would have received a $1 million bonus if he'd been added to the active roster, with additional bonuses of $1.25 million if he stayed on the roster for 30 days and 90 days.

Wren said Wednesday it was a "performance decision" and not a business decision, and that scouts and team officials had determined that Glavine no longer had the pitches — the "stuff" — to succeed against major league hitters.

The Braves will give the rotation spot to Hanson, a 6-foot-6 right-hander who has a 1.49 ERA and .169 opponents' average in 11 starts at Gwinnett, where he's piled up an International League-leading 90 strikeouts in 66-1/3 innings.

"The decision was made on the merits, and was unanimous by Frank and Bobby and John," McGuirk said. "They believed it gave us the best chance of winning. The decision was clear as a bell.

"That doesn't take anything away from what a great guy Tommy [Glavine] is, or our respect for him. ... It's not the way we had it charted out with Tommy. It's just the way of baseball.

"It may be hard to believe, but it was on the merits. The $1 million, I wasn't too worried about that. ... Hanson needs his time."

When asked why the Braves couldn't have given Glavine at least one major league start to show what he could do, McGuirk said, "We're sort of at the point where every win counts."

Glavine has not spoken with reporters since the move, other than through text messages in which he said he was surprised and disappointed by the move and that he was "ready to pitch." He is scheduled to discuss the situation Friday in a media conference after an appearance on a local radio station.

"I wish we were spending all this time talking about how to celebrate Tom Glavine's 305 wins, instead of the other side of it," McGurk said. "There's no joy whatsoever in this situation.

"A lot's been written about the business of baseball. This is one of those times where trying to make our team better and win, causes this result."