The New York Mets have been an organization in rebuilding mode for quite a while now, looking for opportunities to rebuild from within through a dedicated farm system that was flush with young talent, talent that always seem to be just a step or two away from breaking in to the big leagues.
Some of these players have arrived at the big league club and made an immediate impact, particularly when it comes to pitching. Pitching prospects are always amongst the most coveted, as they are often the most expensive players in the game and the ones that can have the biggest impact on an organization.
Getting some of their best prime years for next to nothing is a big piece of the puzzle, and that’s exactly why the New York Mets were willing to hold on to Jenrry Mejia for as long as they did.
An absolutely dominant pitcher from a very young age, the New York Mets decided to offer a multimillion dollar contract to Mejia when he was just 17 years old (all the way back in 2007). In just three short years, Mejia was able to go from the lowest levels of developmental baseball right up to the big leagues – making his debut in the summer of 2010.
Initially, Mejia was used as a fireball reliever coming out of the bullpen and a setup man for the closer of the Mets at that point in time. He threw hard with absolutely devastating offspeed pitches, and had the kind of control and the kind of temperament that looks like he would grow into becoming a sure thing in the starting rotation.
Unfortunately, his career was derailed a little bit when he was busted for taking steroids twice in 2015.
In April 2015, the MLB Commissioners Office discovered that Mejia had been using anabolic steroids and suspended him for 80 games – the minimum suspension for first-time offenders. Just three short weeks after he returned to action following this 80 game suspension (July 2015) he was discovered to have been using two different kinds of performance-enhancing drugs, at which point he was suspended for 162 games – a full MLB season.
Even still, the New York Mets believed in his talent and figured that he was going to be able to dominate at a coveted position for years and years to come. The Mets offered him another multi-million-dollar extension in 2016.
The organization would not be rewarded for this gesture.
Instead, in February 2016 (just a few short months after being busted for the second time using anabolic steroids) Mejia was discovered to have been using anabolic steroids once again. This was three strikes on his PED permanent record, and according to the MLB rules he was handed a lifetime suspension.
After conferring with the Commissioner’s Office and discovering that Mejia could be reinstated by the time 2020 rolled around, the Mets decided to further extend Mejia once more with a $1.8 million contract in January 2018.
But now that his conditional reinstatement has been accelerated – he’ll be able to play for an MLB team in 2019 – the Mets have decided that enough is enough and they are no longer interested in having him as a part of their organization.
The New York Mets have announced in November 2018 that they are terminating their contract with Mejia. They will continue to pay him the amount of money that they agreed upon (the $1.8 million), but he will not be wearing a New York Mets uniform ever again it is free to sign with any other team in the MLB that wants to take a risk on this repeat offender.
The baseball Winter Meetings are almost over and so far nobody seems interested in making that kind of commitment.