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February 3, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Joe Nelson signs minor league deal


Veteran right-hander Joe Nelson has signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox, and will be invited to Spring Training.

Nelson, originally drafted twice by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 and 1994, was drafted a third time in 1996 by the Atlanta Braves, where he began his professional career. He finally cracked the majors in 2001, making two relief appearances for the Braves allowing 8 runs in 2.0 innings. Following his release from Atlanta, Nelson signed with Boston in 2002 and pitched for Double-A Trenton. Nelson posted an impressive 1.78 ERA in 2004 with Portland before eventually moving to Pawtucket and then to the majors. Nelson made three appearances for the Red Sox, allowing 5 runs in 2.2 innings.

After leaving Boston following the 2004 season, Nelson spent time with the Cardinals, Rays and Royals organizations before finally making it back to the majors with Kansas City in 2006, where he posted a 4.43 ERA in 43 games. He moved on to Florida in 2008, where he had a very successful season, posting a 2.00 ERA in 59 appearances out of the bullpen. Nelson spent 2009 with the Rays organization, spending the majority of his time in the majors, posting a 4.02 ERA in 42 games in relief.

For his career, Nelson has compiled a 4.07 ERA across 149 big league appearances, striking out greater than a batter an inning. In 12 minor league seasons, Nelson has posted a 34-34 record with a 3.94 ERA in 302 games.