Major League Baseball conditionally reinstates Jenrry Mejia

Getty Images
23 Comments

Major League Baseball has announced that Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia, who was permanently banned for a third PED test back in early 2016, has been reinstated. At least conditionally.

Mejia will be allowed to resume participation in non-public workouts at Mets’ facilities after the All-Star break and will be eligible for a rehabilitation assignment with a Mets’ affiliate in mid-August. Assuming he complies with certain conditions established by Rob Manfred and the union — said conditions not specified, but presumably drug-related — Mejia will be reinstated from the Restricted List and will be eligible to resume all baseball activities beginning with 2019 Spring Training.

Rob Manfred issued the following statement:

“Under the terms of our collectively bargained Joint Drug Program, a permanently suspended player like Mr. Mejia has the right to apply to me for discretionary reinstatement after serving a minimum of two years. 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.”

Mejia’s first suspension was announced on April 11, 2015 Mets reliever Jenrry Mejía, when he was sidelined for 80 games after testing positive for use of stanozolol. He was still serving his suspension for his first offense when, on July 28, 2015, it was announced that Mejia had failed a test for stanozolol and boldenone to boot, giving him a 162-game suspension. The two suspensions, if fully served, would’ve made him ineligible until 100 games into the 2016 season. During the 2015-16 offseason — during which the Mets gave him a contract extension in anticipation of his return — Major League Baseball announced that Mejia had tested positive for boldenone once again. With his third positive test came the mandatory permanent ban under the Joint Drug Agreement.

This past offseason — again, under the assumption that Mejia would, at some point, be reinstated — the Mets and Mejia agreed to a one-year, $1.729 million deal to avoid arbitration. The Mets obviously aren’t paying him anything due to the suspension, but they retained rights to him, which enables them to hold on to him now that he’s back. At least conditionally speaking.

Mejia, who will be 29 in October, last pitched on July 26, 2015. In his career he’s got a 3.68 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 162/76 in 183.1 innings across 113 games, mostly in relief.

UPDATE: The Mets and Mejia have each issued statements: