The Red Sox added some bullpen depth to their minor-leagues Tuesday with a high-upside signing.
Boston signed embattled ex-New York Mets reliever Jennry Mejia to a minor league deal, according to FanCred’s Jon Heyman and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. His deal comes with an invite to early minicamp but not spring training, and is worth $625 thousand if he makes the big league club, per Heyman.
Mejia isn’t exactly known for the best reasons around baseball, because in Feb. 2016 he was the first player to ever receive a lifetime ban due to failing three performance-enhancing drug tests. He was successful in applying for reinstatement, getting the league’s approval in July 2018, which you can read more about here.
Upon reinstatement, he re-signed with the Mets and spent the rest of the season in the Dominican Summer League before getting cut loose by New York earlier this offseason.
While Mejia hasn’t appeared in a big league game since 2015, there’s at least some upside in signing him. In 2014, he served as the Mets closer, going 6-6 with a 3.65 ERA while earning 28 saves. He appeared in 63 games that year, but hasn’t appeared in double digit contests except in that campaign and in 2010 (33 games).
It’s worth remembering his reinstatement is conditional, so if he gets popped again he will be banned once more. However, for a Red Sox team that has (externally, at least) yet to fill the void left by Joe Kelly and possibly Craig Kimbrel, Mejia is a minimal risk gamble.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Barr/USA TODAY Sports Images