By: Paul DiSclafani
Jenrry Mejia, the twice suspended closer, may get another reprieve from the Mets as team officials are considering bringing him back next season when he is eligible to return from his 162 game suspension for game number 101 of the 2016 season. Mejia appeared in just 7 games for the Mets in 2015 (7.1 scoreless innings) before being suspended a second time for performance enhancing drugs. He has already served 62 games of his suspension.
The Mets (and all MLB teams) need to make decisions on certain players and “non-tender” them by Wednesday. Any player who is NOT eligible for Free Agency, but has an expiring contract, can be declared a “non-tender” free agent if their team does not offer them a new contract by Wednesday.
The Mets can offer Mejia a “tendered” contract of at least 80% of his previous salary, or about $2.076 million. But since he was suspended for 162 games and has already served 62 of them, the Mets will have to pay him only about 40% of the tendered salary, less than one million dollars.
Mejia has been working as a starting pitcher in the Dominican winter league with a 4.09 ERA and 20K in 33 innings. No matter where Mejia ends up, he would be eligible for the 2016 postseason.
Why wouldn’t the Mets take a flyer on Mejia again? He’s not eligible for free agency until 2018 and this would be his last chance anyway. One more suspension and he is banned from baseball for life.
Where else are the Mets going to get a first-rate closer in August for less than a million dollars? Plus, he doesn’t count against the 40-man roster until he is activated.