The New York Mets have released former closer Jenrry Mejia, who received a lifetime ban prior to the 2016 season for failing three separate PED tests. Mejia was reinstated by Major League Baseball over the summer and was eligible to rejoin the team during the upcoming season.
The Mets had to decide whether to add Mejia back onto the 40-man roster by 8:00pm today. Instead, they chose to release Mejia, who last appeared on a major league mound on July 26, 2015. The club has the option to resign Mejia to a minor league contract if they feel that he can be effective out of the bullpen in 2019.
Mejia was once a star in the team’s minor league system but could not cut it in the majors as a starting pitcher. He transitioned to the bullpen full-time in 2014 and eventually became the team’s closer. He tossed 93.2 innings that season and notched 28 saves while posting a 3.65 ERA, a 3.73 FIP, a 1.48 WHIP, and 98 strikeouts. He became known for his animated celebrations on the mound, including his well-known stomp.
Mejia failed his first PED test on April 12, 2015, but returned after serving his 80-game suspension. He made seven July appearances out of the pen before failing his second PED test. He received his lifetime ban in February 2016 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone. In total, he posted a 3.68 ERA, a 3.83 FIP, and 162 strikeouts in 183.1 innings with the Mets.
Mejia has been participating in the Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM) over the winter as a member of Toros del Este. In nine innings pitched, Mejia has allowed three earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven batters.