Atlanta has reportedly reach an agreement with former-Brave Kris Medlen on a minor league deal. The agreement, according to David O’Brien, does not include an invitation major league spring training.
Medlen is a former Braves product who reached the major leagues in 2009 and spent five seasons in Atlanta. The 2012 season was Medlen’s best work, as he posted a 10-1 record with a 1.57 ERA in 138 innings. The Braves were 12-0 in games started by Medlen that season, and the success continued into 2013, when he went 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA. Following that impressive string of success, Medlen was injured in the spring of 2014 and would require Tommy John Surgery (his second such procedure). This effectively ended his career in Atlanta, as the Braves allowed him to reach free agency the following offseason.
Medlen signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2015 after a lengthy recovery process, and in two seasons appeared in just 21 games with a 5.12 ERA. The reports of Medlen’s signing indicate that his absence in spring training is due to the right-hander’s contemplation of retirement this offseason, and the necessity for him to be at full strength before resuming play.
Medlen, who has undergone two TJ surgeries, thought about retiring. But he changed his mind after working bio mechanics instructor— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 27, 2017
This will be a situation worth monitoring as the season goes on. The 31-year-old is reportedly behind schedule in his normal routine, but could certainly see time with Atlanta at some point this season.