Mets release Jenrry Mejia, who had been reinstated by MLB from permanent suspension

The New York Mets announced on Tuesday that they released right-handed pitcher Jenrry Mejia, who had been granted reinstatement to Major League Baseball this past July after initially being banned for life two years ago. The 29-year-old pitcher had served three drug suspensions, and he became the first MLB player to receive a lifetime suspension after his third violation of the league's joint drug prevention and treatment program.

Mejia's first suspension, for 80 games, came back in April 2015 when he tested positive for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders. He returned in July 2015 and appeared in seven games for the Mets, but then was banned for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone. The third suspension was for a positive test for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid generally used by veterinarians on horses.

He was initially defensive over the suspensions, but Mejia eventually accepted all discipline and was allowed to apply for reinstatement after two years. This past July, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Mejia could return to baseball on the condition he stays out of trouble.

"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 in a statement after being reinstated. "Baseball is my profession, my passion and my life, and for those mistakes I am truly sorry."

Mejia returned to the mound with the DSL Mets in August, and he struck out 10 batters while allowing one hit over seven innings in two games. The Mets signed Mejia to a one-year deal worth $1.7 million prior to this past season, but he was not paid because he did not accrue service time.

Mejia recorded a 3.68 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 183 1/3 innings during his career with the Mets. He is 9-14 with a 3.68 ERA in 18 starts and 95 relief appearances. Mejia's best year was in 2014, when he racked up 28 saves and recorded 98 strikeouts in 93 2/3 innings. We'll see if some team takes a chance on him in 2019.

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