Brett Anderson throws for first time since elbow surgery

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Brett Anderson threw yesterday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in July and told Jane Lee of MLB.com that he’s used the down time to drop 20 pounds by giving up soda.

Anderson made 20 throws from 45 feet and afterward compared it to “walking again or riding your bike again.”

He’s aiming for a July return to game action, so Anderson will have many more hurdles to clear before the A’s can feel confident penciling him back into the rotation. But so far so good for the 24-year-old who was emerging as one of baseball’s best left-handers before the injury.

He’ll earn $3.25 million in 2012 as part of a four-year deal signed in April of 2010 and is under the A’s control through 2014.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.