After the 2002 season, Tom Glavine would leave for the hated Mets, and Kevin Millwood would leave as well. The Braves didn’t want to lose both pitchers so they offered Maddux arbitration. They would eventually settle on a 1 year contract in February of 2003. Maddux was very good in his last season with the Braves, but his career was clearly in decline. The Braves decided against offering Maddux one last year on his contract.
The decision not to bring Maddux back for 2004 has always stuck in my craw. Despite Maddux’s greatness, and despite everything he has meant to the fans of the Braves, the front office decided that he was too expensive for us to see him win his 300th game.