Mets part ways with reliever Mejia

November 20th, 2018

's tenure with the Mets has concluded, as the club announced on Tuesday that it released the right-handed pitcher.

Mejia, who was reinstated in July from permanent suspension under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, would have needed to be added to the 40-man roster on Tuesday in order to remain with the club. The deadline for teams to set their 40-man in order to protect players from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft is tonight at 8 ET.

Mejia last pitched with the Mets in 2015 when he became the first player to receive a permanent suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy three times. Since being allowed to return to baseball activities after the All-Star break, Mejia has pitched for Mets affiliates in the Dominican Summer and Winter Leagues.

After blossoming into the club's closer role in 2014, Mejia's career took a spiral in April 2015 when he received his first suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol. He again tested positive for Stanozolol that July, as well as a second drug called Boldenone. He tested positive a third time for PEDs in February 2016.

Initially defiant in his own defense, Mejia later accepted all discipline and was allowed to apply for reinstatement after two years as part of the provisions of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

"I've had a long, difficult time away from the game to contemplate the mistakes I've made both with regard to my positive drug tests and also the false allegations I made about Major League Baseball's investigation into my testing history," Mejia said at the time. "Baseball is my profession, my passion and my life, and for those mistakes, I am truly sorry."

Tuesday marked the conclusion of an 11-year relationship with the Mets. The club signed the Dominican-born right-hander in April 2007, developed him through the Minors, oversaw his recovery from Tommy John surgery from 2011-12 then transition into a formidable closer. Mejia's best year was in 2014, when he racked up 28 saves and recorded 98 strikeouts in 93 2/3 innings. He owns a career ERA of 3.68 over 113 games.