Yesterday, the Red Sox finally signed a closer.
Aw, yes! FINALLY! How much did they end up paying Kimbrel?
It wasn’t Kimbrel? Oh, okay. Well, I know Greg Holland hasn’t been great since like 2014 but he could always bounce back. It wasn’t Holland? Is it Santiago Casilla? Bud Norris? Brad Boxberger? SERGIO ROMO????
No, none of the above.
The Red Sox announced yesterday that they have agreed to former Mets closer and former PED lifetime ban recipient Jenrry Mejia on a one year minor league deal, with an invite to big league camp.
I think Peter Moylan said it best.
— Peter Moylan (@PeterMoylan) January 30, 2019
If you don’t know much about the 29 year old, as he has been fairly quiet for the past three years, here’s a quick debriefing.
Mejia first broke onto the scene in 2010 as a long reliever for the Metropolitans. He wasn’t very good. Mejia had a 4.62 ERA, a disgusting 1.69 WHIP, and an equally awful 1.10 K/BB ratio over 39 innings. He would tear his UCL the next season while in triple A and wouldn’t resurface until the tail end of 2012.
In 2013, Mejia began to turn heads. In an admittedly small sample size of 27 innings due to more injury issues, Mejia would post a 2.30 ERA with an 8.9 K/ 9 rate while working exclusively as a starter. His days of being a starter were not for long, however, as in 2014 he was moved to the bullpen after a number of less than stellar outings. But, being in the bullpen was the perfect place for Mejia, as he would flourish for the remainder of the season as the teams closer. Mejia would post a 3.65 ERA with a, still climbing, 9.4 K/9 rate across a whopping 93.2 innings pitched, while being hyper-efficient as the teams fireman, closing out 28 of 31 save opportunities.
In 2015, though, everything fell apart. While Mejia didn’t allow a run in the 7 innings he pitched in, he did get popped for a using stanozolol and was slapped with an 80 game suspension. No even a month after being reinstated from his first suspension, Mejia was suspended for a full 162 games after again testing positive for stanozolol and Boldenone.
At this point, Mejia was already aligned with the Jon Jones’ and Ben Johnson’s in the category of stupidest athletes of all time but, it gets dumber.
On February 12th, 2016, Mejia again, emphasis on AGAIN, tested positive for Boldenone. This was Mejia’s third positive drug test in 307 days and, under Major League Baseball’s new PED policy, Mejia was handed a lifetime ban at the ripe age of 26. However, the lifetime ban was in name only, as Mejia was reinstated in 2018 after an appeal.
Pete Rose is probably in a rocking chair somewhere losing his mind over this.
If you’re concerned, as a Red Sox fan, that the team just signed someone whose been sitting on their ass for the better part of three years, relax, Mejia’s been keeping up. He pitched in the Venezuelan winter league in 2017. Sure, it was only 9.1 innings and he gave up 8 hits and 12 walks in those 9 innings but that’s just some ring rust. He’s still the wacky closer we all fell in love with FOUR YEARS AGO.
Alright, I’ve been talking alot of shit. If Mejia can get back to 2015 form, this is an excellent dumpster dive pick up. Mejia has always had impeccable stuff; A fastball that runs up in the mid 90’s, a ridiculously nasty curveball, a quality cutter, and a middle of the road slider. I’m just not sure if I’m ready to buy in and be content with a reliever who hasn’t pitched in three years being this teams only bullpen acquisition. But hey, the Red Sox have thrown together a rinky dink bullpen in the past and made it work so who knows?
As long as Mejia is stomping around after every inning, I like it.
Photo by Brad Penner/ USA Today Sports