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Glavine awaiting Braves' offer

With no Atlanta offer, NY beckons

Tom Glavine hasn't received a contract offer from the Atlanta Braves as he nears a decision on where he wants to play next season, a development that has increased the likelihood he will return to the New York Mets.

Glavine's agent, Gregg Clifton, said the two-time Cy Young Award winner has told the Mets he would make a decision by the winter meetings, which start Monday. Glavine said he wanted to spend time with his family before deciding whether to stay with the Mets, who signed him before the 2003 season, or return to the Braves, his team from 1987-2002.

Clifton said he has spoken with Braves general manager John Schuerholz several times about Glavine.

"He can't even evaluate that they really want him if he doesn't have an offer," Clifton said. "The bottom line is, we're waiting to see if Atlanta wants to make a proposal to us. We've had really nice dialogue on a few occasions and we've kind of left it: We're open. We're waiting for John to give us a call if he would like to."

Rangers, Zito meet
Barry Zito met yesterday with the Texas Rangers, the team that failed to sign the ace lefthander after drafting him in 1998. Zito and his agent, Scott Boras, visited with owner Tom Hicks, general manager Jon Daniels, and other team officials. A year after the Rangers drafted Zito in the third round, Oakland made him a first-round pick in 1999 out of the University of Southern California. Zito went 102-63 in 222 starts for the Athletics the past seven seasons and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2002. He finished 16-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 34 starts this year, then became a free agent. Zito expressed interest in Texas last month after Ron Washington, an Oakland coach the past 11 seasons, became the Rangers' manager

Mulder in Arizona
The Arizona Diamondbacks met with free agent pitcher Mark Mulder and could be interested in signing the lefthander. Mulder is coming off rotator cuff surgery that ended his season with the St. Louis Cardinals in September.

Rockies sign Francis
The Colorado Rockies signed pitcher Jeff Francis to a $13 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a team option for 2011 . . . Pitcher Adam Eaton and the Philadelphia Phillies finalized a $24.5 million, three-year contract. A first-round pick by the Phillies in 1996, Eaton is 54-45 with a 4.40 ERA in seven major league seasons . . . Chad Bradford was eager for a quick agreement, and the Baltimore Orioles complied. "This was such a good fit that the choice was easy," Bradford said after finalizing a $10.5 million, three-year contract. The 32-year-old righthander was 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA last year with the Mets . . . Royce Clayton wanted the opportunity to be a starting shortstop, a job he isn't guaranteed with the Toronto Blue Jays. "It's not defined right now that he's our everyday shortstop," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said a day after agreeing to a $1.5 million, one-year contract. Ricciardi said Clayton will be given a chance to play a lot.

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