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Mets avoid arbitration with Jenrry Mejia


The Mets avoided arbitration with right-handed reliever Jenrry Mejia on Friday, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The settlement — a one-year, $1.729 million deal — is unlikely to be paid out as Mejia is still serving a permanent ban after testing positive for PEDs on three separate occasions from 2015 through 2016.

Mejia, 28, first tested positive for Stanozolol in April 2015 and was hit with an 80-game suspension. In July, he tested positive for both Stanozolol and Boldenone and another 162-game suspension was tacked onto his sentence. His third and final transgression came in February 2016, when he tested positive for Boldenone again and was promptly and permanently banned from Major League Baseball.

The right-hander pitched his last full season in the majors back in 2014, turning in a 3.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 9.4 SO/9 through 93 2/3 innings for the Mets. His ban can officially be lifted in 2018 — per Heyman, Mejia is now eligible for reinstatement after missing the last two seasons — but whether commissioner Rob Manfred would be open to hearing his case (or whether Mejia could find another big league opportunity) remains to be seen.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.