Apparently announced on his own Twitter feed, left-handed reliever C.J. Nitkowski (@cjnitkowski) has signed a minor league deal with the Mets and will report to Double-A Binghamton.
I haven't pitched in AA in 17 yrs but you take an opportunity when it presents itself & run with it. This is it, last shot. Thank you @Mets— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) July 13, 2012
There were reports earlier in the season that the Mets were looking at Nitkowski but a deal never happened. Nitkowski hasn't pitched in the majors since a three-inning stint with the Nationals in 2005. Nitkowski had a previous stopover with the Mets in 2001, striking out four and walking three in five innings over five relief appearances.
For his career, Nitkowski has a 5.37 ERA, 347 strikeouts, and 263 walks in 470 innings. A southpaw, Nitkowski has been considerably better against lefties, allowing a .257/.340/.388 batting line and striking out 148 batter to 65 walks. Righties have hit .290/.391/.458 with 199 strikeouts and 198 walks.
Nitkowski should be considered a long shot to make it up to Queens, but given the collective performance of the Mets' bullpen this season, Nitkowski certainly picked a good time and team for which to make his final push as a professional baseball player.