- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
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Pitcher Tom Glavine is expected to meet with Braves general manager Frank Wren later this week in what could be a first step toward the pitcher returning to Atlanta for a 23rd major league season, a baseball source said Tuesday.
Glavine, who underwent elbow and shoulder surgery in August, received a positive report in a recent visit to Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and expects to be ready in time for Opening Day. The Braves want an update on Glavine's health and potential spring training regimen before they proceed with contract talks, the source said.
The Braves have revamped their starting rotation this offseason, signing free agents Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami to multiyear deals and acquiring Javier Vazquez by trade from the Chicago White Sox. The three new starters will join Jair Jurrjens at the top of the Atlanta rotation.
If Glavine returns to the Braves and is healthy in spring training, he would be the frontrunner for the No. 5 spot. But the Braves also plan to look at Jorge Campillo, Jo-Jo Reyes and Charlie Morton. Tommy Hanson, the organization's top minor league prospect, could also be up from the minors at some point this season.
Glavine, a career 305-203 with Atlanta and the New York Mets, posted a 2-4 record with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts for the Braves last season. Wren said late last summer that he was interested in having both Glavine and John Smoltz return in 2009, but didn't want to rely too heavily on the two veterans because of their age and injury histories. Glavine turns 43 in March, while Smoltz will be 42 in May.
Smoltz recently ended his 20-year run in Atlanta to sign a one-year deal with Boston.
Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.
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