Press Row: Glavine declines option

Mets left-hander Tom Glavine formally declined his $7.5 million player option for the 2007 season Friday, one day after filing provisionally for free agency.

With the Mets also expected to turn down their $14 million option on Glavine before a Nov. 20 deadline, that will leave the two sides to try and hammer out an alternate contractual agreement.

Glavine – who is 10 victories shy of 300 for his career – has said that he hopes to only pitch one more season, reach the milestone, and then retire.

He continues to be undecided as to whether he would prefer to accomplish the feat in the uniform of the Mets or the Atlanta Braves, who play their home games a short drive from his Alpharetta, Ga. home. Glavine has said he hopes to reach a decision before the beginning of the MLB Winter Meetings, which kick off Dec. 4 in Orlando.

Glavine's presence takes on added importance for a Mets club that will play at least the first half of 2007 without Pedro Martinez. The Mets have also made an effort to re-sign starter Orlando Hernandez, who was unable to pitch in the postseason because of a torn calf suffered before the start of the National League Division Series.

  • Multiple sources have reported that Citigroup, Inc. has purchased the naming rights to the Mets' new stadium, which has been in preliminary construction for several months but will have an official groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.

    The ballpark, which is set to rise in the parking lot beyond centerfield of Shea Stadium, will have the name "CitiField" and be open for the 2009 season. Signs have already been posted in the construction site bearing the new stadium's name.

  • Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes were named among 13 first-time recipients of the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award on Friday. Beltran is the second Mets outfielder (Darryl Strawberry; 1988, 1990) to win the award, while Reyes is the first Mets shortstop. The last Met to be named a Silver Slugger was Mike Piazza in 2002.

  • Mets third base coach Manny Acta has removed himself from consideration for the Oakland Athletics' managerial job, a strong indication he may be in line to take over the Washington Nationals, the Washington Post reports.

    Should Acta leave for the Nationals, the New York Daily News said, possible in-house candidates to replace Acta on the Mets' coaching staff would include Ken Oberkfell, Howard Johnson and Gary Carter.

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