NEW YORK - Suspended relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia and the New York Mets went through the formality Tuesday of agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1,976,000, money he will not ever receive.
Mejia was given a lifetime ban from baseball last Feb. 12 after his third positive test under the major league drug program. He remains on the Mets roster on the restricted list, and because he has four years of major league service he was eligible for salary arbitration. However, players serving drug suspensions do not get paid.
Mejia's salary was cut the maximum 20 per cent from his $2.47 million salary last year — money he also did not receive.
Mejia was suspended for 80 games on April 11, 2015, following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders, and admitted then he took a banned substance. He returned that July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was suspended for 162 games that July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.
His third positive test was for Boldenone. Mejia denied taking any substances that triggered the second and third positive tests.
Mejia may apply next month to baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement, and Manfred at his discretion has the power to let Mejia back in baseball — but no earlier than the 2018 season. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball's arbitrator to end the ban, but it cannot be reduced to less than two years.
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.