Right-handed reliever Jenrry Mejia is getting another shot at the big leagues...
And it's coming courtesy of a Minor League deal thanks to your World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Mejia, 29, hasn't pitched in a MLB game since 2015. That year, he appeared in just seven games—thanks to two suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs.
In 2014, Mejia saved 28 games in 31 chances for the New York Mets as their up-and-coming closer. He was suspended for the first 80 games of 2015 due to a failed PED test, and was caught again in July of that year. Following a third failed test in February 2016, Mejia was banned from baseball.
Mejia was reinstated by the league last July, and officially released by the Mets in November.
Under MLB's joint drug agreement, players are allowed to reapply for reinstatement after two years of being banned.
At the time of Mejia's reinstatement, Commissioner Rob Manfred said the following:
"Upon receiving Mr. Mejia's application for reinstatement last year, I invited him to New York to meet with me. During our meeting, Mr. Mejia expressed regret for poor choices he made in the past and assured me that, if reinstated, he would adhere to the terms of the Program going forward. In light of Mr. Mejia's contrition, his commitment to comply with the Program in the future, and the fact that he will have already spent almost four consecutive years suspended without pay, I have decided to grant Mr. Mejia a final chance to resume his professional career."
Having pitched his entire career as a Met (2010, 2012-15), Mejia owns a 9-14 record with a 3.68 ERA in 113 games (18 starts).
A few players around the league displayed their annoyance at Mejia's return:
If you ask me, I'm with the players. What happened to three strikes you're out? When you eliminate that, it only encourages and enables more cheating. It's not a good look for the league. Aren't they trying to clean up the game? Apparently not, because the first player ever to be banned for multiple PED tests is allowed to come back for some reason.
That joint drug agreement needs some reform. It's three strikes you're out, not three strikes and talk to me again in a couple years. Screw that. Shouldn't be how it works, in my opinion. If you fail three tests you shouldn't be allowed to return. Again—three strikes you're out.
Not counting the projected five in the starting rotation, the Red Sox currently have 16 additional pitchers on the 40-man roster--five of whom haven't made their Major League debut yet (Hernandez, Lakins, Reyes, Shepherd, Taylor). Mejia's signing provides them with additional depth, especially considering that the team is yet to re-sign Craig Kimbrel.
If Mejia can get it done in the minors and an opportunity presents itself where he can contribute to the big club, then I hope he succeeds. I disagree with him being allowed to compete for a spot on a Major League roster, but I don't make the rules there. Not my call. I can only hope he pitches well for the Red Sox when and if it matters. If he has a chance and fails, the fans will let him hear it. That I can guarantee.
Pitchers and catchers report in 13 days. Here. We. Go.