There is no denying young starting pitching is the Mets’ biggest strength. But take two elbow injuries concerns over the ever-increasing innings workload for several pitchers and a strength can be weakened considerably.

So with all that on the table the Mets yesterday signed veteran righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka 32 who once was the most coveted target in a lucrative bidding war to a one-year contract. The Mets intend to put him to work immediately.

Matsuzaka will start tonight at Citi Field where the Mets begin a three-game weekend series with the American League Central Division-leading Tigers.

Mets manager Terry Collins had named Carlos Torres as his starter for tonight but the plan now is to have both Matsuzaka and Torres pitch. Matsuzaka pitched four innings for Triple-A Columbus the Indians’ minor league affiliate on Monday.

Matsuzaka was released at his request by the Indians this week. He pitched with Boston last season going 1-7.

The 6-foot 185-pound right-hander spent six seasons with the Red Sox who paid him $51.67 million after shelling out $51 million to bid for his services from the Seibu Lions in 2006. His time in Boston produced a 50-37 record with a 4.52 ERA.

Elbow woes struck Matsuzaka who is 17-22 since 2009. He underwent elbow surgery in 2011.

The looming elbow surgeries for Jeremy Hefner and Jenrry Mejia plus the caution about the innings already pitched by the likes of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler led the Mets to seek additional help. Matsuzaka is a low-risk high-reward situation.

Hefner said he will consult Monday with renown surgeon James Andrews for a second opinion concerning a recommended Tommy John surgery that would likely sideline him for about a year.

Hefner received the recommendation for surgery this week and said he wanted to “cover all my bases” with a second opinion.

Mejia also is lost for the remainder of the season facing surgery to remove a bone spur and loose particles in his elbow.