The New York Mets and Jenrry Mejia agreed to a one-year, $ 1,976,000 contract on Tuesday, even though the suspended pitcher will never see the money.
Mejia was handed a lifetime ban from baseball last year for failing a third test under the major league drug program. But he is still on the Mets roster and, because he technically has been in the majors for four years, was up for arbitration.
The Mets cut the maximum of 20 percent from his 2016 salary, $ 2.47, which he also did not receive a dollar of.
Mejia can apply for reinstatement next month. Commissioner Rob Manfred, at his own discretion, solely has the power to allow Mejia to play baseball again. However, if the pitcher is allowed back in the majors, it would be for the 2018 season at the earliest.
Meija can also ask the league’s arbitrator to terminate the lifetime ban, but it still would not be able to be reduced to the minimum for two years.
The pitcher, who was the Mets’ closer before Jeurys Familia, was first suspended in April of 2015 after testing positive for Stanozolol, a substance commonly used by body builders. The pitcher did not deny using the substance.
He returned to baseball later that season on July 12, but later that very month tested positive for both Stanozolol and Boldenone.
Mejia’s third strike, which came when he again tested positive for Boldenone, resulted in the lifetime ban he is currently serving. Unlike the first drug test, the pitcher denies the outcome of the subsequent ones.
Nine Mets remain eligible for arbitration and are set to exchange proposed salaries with the team Friday: pitchers Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Zach Wheeler, Addison Reed and Josh Edgin; first baseman Lucas Duda; catcher Travis d’Arnaud; and infielder Wilmer Flores.
With The Associated Press