Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

MLB bans reliever for life

Jenrry Mejia

Jenrry Mejia

NEW YORK — Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia became the first player to receive a lifetime ban under Major League Baseball's drug agreement after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the third time.

The commissioner's office said Friday that Mejia tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone, used to increase muscle mass and was once popular for use in horse racing.

The 26-year-old right-hander was the Mets' closer in 2014, then was suspended for 80 games last April after a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders. At the time, he said, "I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system."

Mejia returned July 12, appeared in seven games, then was banned for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.

"I think not surprisingly there's a tremendous amount of disappointment, I think to some extent, anger, to some extent, amazement that this could happen so soon after a previous suspension was completed," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said then.

The Mets said Friday that they "were deeply disappointed." The Players Association declined comment, and a spokesman for Mejia's agents said the pitcher had no comment.

Under pressure to toughen their drug program, MLB players and teams agreed in 2005 that a third positive test for PEDs would result in a lifetime ban. His 162-game suspension had matched the longest under the big-league program, a yearlong ban served by the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez in 2014 that originally was 211 games before an arbitrator reduced it.

Mejia may apply one year from now to commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement, and Manfred has the power to let Mejia back in baseball — but no earlier than for the 2018 season. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball's arbitrator to end the ban, claiming the penalty is without "just cause." The arbitrator cannot reduce the ban to less than two years.

A Dominican signed by the Mets in 2007, Mejia reached the majors in 2010 and became their closer in 2014, when he had 28 saves in 31 chances.

YANKEES SIGN CHAPMAN: Closer Aroldis Chapman and the Yankees agreed to a one-year contract worth $11,325,000, avoiding salary arbitration. Acquired from Cincinnati in December, Chapman had asked for $13.1 million and had been offered $9 million. The agreement was $275,000 above the midpoint. Chapman threw the 62 fastest pitches in the majors last season, ranging from 103.92 to 102.36 mph. He was 4-4 with a 1.63 ERA and 33 saves in 36 chances, striking out 116 and walking 33 in 66 1-3 innings. He made $8,075,000. MLB is investigating Chapman under the sport's new domestic abuse policy after a disturbance in Florida on Oct. 30 involving his girlfriend. Prosecutors decided not to file charges.

INDIANS GET HUNTER: Reliever Tommy Hunter and the Indians agreed to a one-year deal. The Rays had been having talks with the 29-year-old right-hander. Hunter was 4-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 58 relief appearances last season for the Orioles and Cubs, who acquired him July 31 for outfielder Junior Lake.

TRADE: The Brewers traded outfielder Khris Davis, who hit 27 home runs last season, to the A's for a pair of prospects.

MLB bans reliever for life 02/12/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2016 11:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills

    Sports

    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville

    Sports

    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)