The Mets have signed reliever Scott Atchison to a minor-league deal and invited the righthander to spring training.
Atchison spent 2012 with the Red Sox, posting a sparkling 1.58 ERA and 0.994 WHIP in 42 games and 51 innings. So how is it the Mets were able to get a pitcher with those kind of numbers on a minor league deal? Because Atchison was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament in mid-July. He did not have Tommy John surgery, instead opting for rest and therapy, and he returned in mid-September, pitching effectively in five ballgames. Does that mean he’s healthy? Maybe, maybe not. Without surgery, there’s the risk of tearing the ligament completely, and at 36 years old, Atchison is no spring chicken. It’s a good risk for the Mets — if Atchison remains healthy, they should have an effective middle reliever, and if he blows out his elbow, well, all they gave up was a spring training invite. See: Boof Bonser, Taylor Buchholz, Taylor Tankersley.
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Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.