New York Mets: Jenrry Mejia

Morning Briefing: Day 2!

February, 22, 2015
Feb 22
6:58
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: It will not be a sleepy Sunday morning at the Mets’ spring-training complex.

After all, it’s Day 2 of official workouts.

Players head outdoors at roughly 10 a.m.

Sunday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey was excited after going through his first official workout with fellow pitchers Saturday. He is due to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, then repeat that two days later. That should be the final step before he faces batters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery. That session may come as soon as Thursday.


Adam RubinMatt Harvey


Harvey will pitch during the opening five games of the regular season, Terry Collins said, although that does not necessarily preclude Harvey also starting the home opener. Also, the Mets prefer capping Harvey’s early starts at 85 pitches or so as opposed to skipping starts, according to the manager.

What can the Mets expect from Harvey this season? A leading medical expert regarding Tommy John surgery says there is a six-month period once game action resumes in which the pitcher typically needs to work up to his past performance. The good news: The Mets may pattern Harvey’s return from the procedure after Adam Wainwright’s. And Wainwright threw 198 T innings during the regular season and another 15 in the playoffs in his first season back.

Meanwhile, Harvey dismissed any tension existing with the Mets during his rehab. He essentially called the flaps over his exposure -- including doing a radio interview during a game -- a media creation. Still, columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post didn’t like the attention-seeking while idle. Writes Davidoff:

This naturally evokes the legendary line that Ed Wade, then the Phillies’ general manager, used to describe his noisy ace Curt Schilling: “Every fifth day, Curt’s our horse. The other four days, he’s our horse’s ass.”

Harvey hasn’t approached Schilling’s toxicity level. Then again, he hasn’t approached Schilling’s accomplishments, either. It feels like we all -- the media, Mets fans, Mets employees and Harvey himself -- need to remind ourselves Harvey has pitched in 36 major league games, totaling 237 / innings, numbers Nolan Ryan frequently exceeded in one season. He has yet to complete a major league campaign, starting line to finish line.

Read more on Harvey in the Times, Post, Record, Journal, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Collins said the Mets are a playoff-caliber team in 2015. Read more at MLB.com and NJ.com and in the Daily News and Record.

• Despite winter pronouncements of it being Bobby Parnell's job to lose, Jenrry Mejia will have a chance to remain the closer once Parnell is activated from the DL. Read more in Newsday and at NJ.com.

• It is “up in the air” who will be the leadoff man between Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson. Also, Collins sees merit in batting Daniel Murphy down in the order -- say No. 6 -- over in the two-hole. Read more in the Post and at NJ.com.

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with Lagares. The Gold Glove winner believes he is capable of stealing 25 to 30 bases. His favorite outfielders to watch are close friend Carlos Gomez as well as Andrew McCutchen. His favorite movie is “Fast and Furious.”

• Versatile Eric Campbell is working out with catchers and will be available for emergency duty behind the plate this season.

Travis d'Arnaud discussed the impact of a bone spur in his right elbow on his 2014 throwing.

• An ill Zack Wheeler missed Saturday’s first official workout.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News notes that it took Frank Cashen until Year 5 of his tenure as GM before the Mets became a winning team. Sandy Alderson is now entering his fifth season.

• No surprise, but Collins confirmed that Dillon Gee would be the probable odd-man out of the rotation if there are no injuries or trades. Read more at NJ.com.

• Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom said he delayed his honeymoon in Hawaii at the Mets’ request to be available for the award announcement. Read more on deGrom in Newsday, NJ.com, the Daily News and at MLB.com.

David Wright will address the media on Sunday, but Collins already has insisted the captain’s balky left shoulder is healthy.

• Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin has an uphill battle to stick as a Met. The only player to last a season and officially become Mets property via that draft in the past 20 years is Pedro Beato.

• Often critical of Ruben Tejada, Collins paid the early reporting infielder a compliment Saturday.

• Frank Viola offered a comparison between lefty relief prospect Jack Leathersich and ’80s-era Met Sid Fernandez.

• Apparently, Steve Gelbs has never been officially named as Kevin Burkhardt’s replacement for SNY’s Mets telecast. Neil Best in Newsday reports the announcement is coming Monday.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report wonders if the Mets’ confidence in the playoffs is optimism or wishful thinking.

BIRTHDAYS: J.J. Putz turns 38. ... Minor-league right-hander Tim Peterson is 24.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What should the Mets’ batting order be this season?

Mejia may stay closer after Parnell returns

February, 21, 2015
Feb 21
1:17
PM ET

Adam RubinBobby Parnell may not assume the closer's role if Jenrry Mejia is lights out in Parnell's absence.


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins will not just hand Bobby Parnell the closer’s job when he is activated from the disabled list a few weeks into the season.

The manager said Saturday that Jenrry Mejia, who should open the season as the closer, will have an opportunity to keep that role after Parnell’s return if Mejia is lights out in early April.

Parnell successfully closed for the Mets until two summers ago. Then, he dealt with a herniated disk in his neck. He missed all but Opening Day last season with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

Parnell is expected to be activated in late April, slightly more than 12 months after his elbow procedure.

“We’ll see where he is when he comes back. We’ll see how he’s pitching,” Collins said. “We provide opportunities. It’s up to the players to make the most of it. If we start the season with Jenrry as the closer and he is dealing, he’s going to be the closer. Right now I just want Bobby to prepare himself to be the closer, because that’s where we think he has the best fit.”

Parnell had indicated Wednesday that he expects to be the closer when activated.

Flores, Kirk among players out of options

February, 19, 2015
Feb 19
1:04
PM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Why does Kirk Nieuwenhuis have a decided advantage over Matt den Dekker for a lefty-hitting backup outfielder role?

lastname
den Dekker
lastname
Nieuwenhuis
Nieuwenhuis is one of the handful of fringe players out of options. That means he must be exposed to waivers before being sent to the minors and other teams would have the opportunity to claim him. Den Dekker, on the other hand, can be freely sent to the minors without any risk of losing him.

Nieuwenhuis isn't the only player with that out-of-options status.

Among the other players in camp who must be exposed to waivers if they were to fail to make the team: Wilmer Flores, John Mayberry Jr., Jenrry Mejia, Nieuwenhuis, Cesar Puello, Ruben Tejada and Carlos Torres.

That's why all are likely to make the team except for Puello.

Puello, a 23-year-old outfielder, hit .252 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 318 at-bats last season with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014.

Morning Briefing: No apologies here!

February, 18, 2015
Feb 18
6:37
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: So A-Rod issued a handwritten apology? Well, all right then.

At Mets camp, it’s now one day until Thursday’s official report date for pitchers and catchers, but most everyone already is here. The only notable exception among hurlers: Bartolo Colon.

Colon has been working out in the town where he was born: El Copey, in the Dominican Republic, in a baseball stadium he built for the community, which cost roughly 100 million pesos (about $22.3 million), according to the Spanish-language newspaper Hoy.

There is a forecast of rain in the morning in Port St. Lucie, with a modest high of 66 degrees.

Wednesday’s news reports:


Adam RubinLong Island native Steven Matz throws off a mound Tuesday morning in Port St. Lucie.

• WOR has offered its pregame and postgame host job to Illinois native Wayne Randazzo, sources told ESPNNewYork.com. The role will include fill-in play-by-play. Randazzo would succeed Seth Everett, who held the role last season, after WOR obtained Mets radio rights.

Bobby Parnell is due to address the media on Wednesday about the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery. A source told ESPNNewYork.com that while there is no precise date for activation, Parnell is expected to open the season on the disabled list and should only miss the opening two to three weeks.

At least until Parnell returns, Mejia should remain the closer, with assistance from Jeurys Familia and Vic Black. Mejia, though, indicated he is fine with any relief role once Parnell returns.

Black had a miserable spring training last year and pitched himself off the Opening Day roster. Now, feeling secure after a strong close to last season, he expects better results during 2015 Grapefruit League play.

Read more on the bullpen in the Post, Record, Daily News, Newsday and NJ.com.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear fondly recalls how spring training used to be communicated to the fans. … Mets Report says don’t forget about Ed Kranepool when considering Mets retired numbers. … Blogging Mets is begging the Mets for clarity on its retired-numbers policy.

BIRTHDAYS: Shawn Estes, who threw behind Roger Clemens when the Mets had a chance for retribution, turns 42. ... Seton Hall product John Valentin is 48. ... Kevin Tapani is 51. ... Jeff McKnight is 52. ...Prospect Darwin Frias is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should close for the Mets once Bobby Parnell is activated from a season-opening DL stint?

Jenrry Mejia OK with any bullpen role

February, 17, 2015
Feb 17
9:59
PM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jenrry Mejia started last season as a starting pitcher. He finished last season as the closer, having recorded 28 saves in 31 chances, albeit with relatively few clean innings.

So what happens when Bobby Parnell is activated from the disabled list, which is expected to occur near May 1?

"That's Terry Collins' job," Mejia said Tuesday at Mets camp. "That's not my job. I've got to be out there and do the best I can. Whatever Terry Collins wants me to do, I've got to do. I'll go out there. I'll go to the bullpen, throw the seventh, ninth, eighth inning -- whatever they want me to do."

For several years, Mejia indicated his strong preference for being a starter, in part because he felt like relief left him susceptible to injury.

"I'm past that," Mejia insisted. "I forgot about it. Now I want to be in the bullpen. They want me in the bullpen. So I've got to be there and do my job.

"When I made the team in 2010, I was a reliever," Mejia continued, referring to that controversial decision by on-the-ropes GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel. "So when I started [getting used] in the bullpen [last season], I felt comfortable. The first day I didn't feel that good. But, you know, I started my routine and kept working hard and now I feel good. I'll be in the bullpen. I'll be anywhere they want me to be."

Mejia underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia on Oct. 2. He said he was ready for baseball activity by New Year's.

"When I was in the Dominican in January, I started practicing at the Mets' complex in Boca Chica," Mejia said. "And now I feel 100 percent. I feel ready."

2015 Mets pitching preview

February, 17, 2015
Feb 17
9:00
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- On Monday, ESPNNewYork.com posted a New York Mets position-player preview. Now, it’s equal time for the pitchers, who officially report to camp on Thursday and clearly are the strength of the 2015 Amazin’s.

lastname
Harvey
ROTATION: All eyes will be on Matt Harvey in spring training when he faces batters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013.

Although the Mets have suggested Harvey may be held back from the home opener, a team insider told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday that has not been determined. Harvey will not be allowed to reach 200 innings this season, so the Mets will have to strategically skip some of his starts. They also could pull him from some games after five innings when, say, the Mets have a four-run lead.

With Harvey back, the Mets potentially have three aces. Zack Wheeler finally seemed to hit his stride as last season progressed, posting a 2.71 ERA over his final 16 starts. Meanwhile, Jacob deGrom is the reigning NL Rookie of the Year.

Mets officials already are praising Jonathon Niese’s shape. Niese, actually an exceptional athlete despite recent injury issues, participated in the Mike Barwis-led fitness camp this offseason. Niese had elbow woes last year, which dropped his fastball velocity to an average of 88.8 mph -- down 1.7 mph from 2011 and ’12. So whether his zip has returned is something to watch as Grapefruit League play progresses.

Last season, Bartolo Colon logged 200 innings for the first time since 2005, but he turns 42 on May 24. The Mets would entertain trading him, and keeping Dillon Gee, if an opportunity arises this spring training, although there are no active conversations with other teams about either pitcher at this point.

If there’s no spring-training trade, Gee appears headed to the bullpen as a $5.3 million long reliever.

lastname
Parnell
BULLPEN: Bobby Parnell is expected to open the season on the disabled list, in the final stages of his return from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent last April 8. Manager Terry Collins has suggested it is Parnell’s closer’s job to lose once he returns, but Jenrry Mejia undoubtedly will get the first shot with Parnell idle for at least the opening few weeks. Jeurys Familia and Vic Black also should serve as capable late-inning arms.

Until Parnell returns, the Mets basically have five bullpen locks: Mejia, Familia, Black, Carlos Torres and Josh Edgin.

Gee would be No. 6 if the Mets do not make a spring-training trade.

No. 7 ideally would be a second lefty to complement Edgin, but that’s no slam dunk. Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin served as a starting pitcher last season in Double-A and Triple-A with the Twins, but will get a chance to emerge as that second lefty. He must be offered back to Minnesota if he fails to make the major league roster. Scott Rice, who underwent elbow surgery last July 23 to address a nerve issue and remove a bone spur, is back on a minor league contract to compete for that spot too. Left-handed prospects Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich are in camp, although Leathersich probably needs more seasoning in Triple-A. He has walked 36 in 37 1/3 career innings with Las Vegas.

If the Mets do not carry a second left-hander, that potentially opens the door for Rafael Montero, Buddy Carlyle or Erik Goeddel to make the roster in the bullpen as a sixth righty.

MINORS: There’s clearly no room for Noah Syndergaard in the majors at his point, even if he were deemed ready, so he should headline a standout Vegas rotation that also may also include left-hander Steven Matz as well as Montero (if he’s not in the major league pen), Princeton product Matt Bowman and Cory Mazzoni. Vegas manager Wally Backman recently suggested Matz may be a better prospect than Syndergaaard. And that’s high praise.

View from St. Lucie: Jenrry Mejia's hairdo

February, 16, 2015
Feb 16
9:28
AM ET

Adam RubinJenrry Mejia -- and his hairdo -- already have reported to Mets camp.

Mets, Mejia settle on 2015 contract

January, 28, 2015
Jan 28
8:35
PM ET
Jenrry Mejia and the Mets have agreed on a $2.595 million salary for 2015 to avoid arbitration, sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

On Jan. 16, Mejia had requested $3 million, with the team countering at $2.1 million.

Lucas Duda is now the lone arbitration-eligible Met yet to resolve his salary for the upcoming season.

Murph, Duda, Mejia trade figures with Mets

January, 16, 2015
Jan 16
5:52
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Agents for Lucas Duda, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy exchanged salary request figures with the Mets on Friday afternoon after failing to reach agreements on 2015 contracts, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Duda requested $4.7 million, with the team countering at $3.75 million.

Mejia requested $3.0 million, with the team countering at $2.1 million.

Murphy requested $8.6 million, with the team countering at $7.4 million.

If the sides fail to reach an agreement in the next several weeks, the sides will go before an arbitrator next month. The arbitrator would choose one of the submitted figures -- not a number in the middle.

In Murphy's case, the Mets in the past have steadfastly said they are uninterested in pursuing a multi-year deal. That stance was reiterated Friday by a source to ESPNNewYork.com. Murphy will be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.

The Mets originally had six arbitration eligible players, but Dillon Gee ($5.3 million), Bobby Parnell ($3.7 million) and Ruben Tejada ($1.88 million) all settled.

Mets settle with Gee, Tejada; 2-3 unresolved

January, 16, 2015
Jan 16
1:56
PM ET
NEW YORK -- On the day salary demands for upcoming arbitration hearings needed to be exchanged, the Mets settled with two players, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Dillon Gee, whether he is with the Mets or traded, will earn $5.3 million in 2015.

Ruben Tejada has settled for $1.88 million.

Bobby Parnell previously had settled for $3.7 million, the same salary as last season.

Jenrry Mejia and Lucas Duda have not yet settled and have exchanged salary requests at 1 p.m. ET, which may become public later Friday. They still could settle before an arbitration hearing next month. Otherwise, an arbitrator would pick either the players' request or the team's request -- not a number in between.

Mejia is projected to earn $2.5 million in 2015. Duda is projected to earn $4.25 million.

ESPNNewYork.com has not yet learned whether Daniel Murphy -- the other arbitration-eligible Met -- reached a settlement on Friday. He is projected to earn $8.1 million.

Five Mets file for arbitration

January, 13, 2015
Jan 13
10:14
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Of the six Mets eligible for arbitration, only Bobby Parnell has settled so far.

So the other players -- Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia, Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada -- went through the formality of officially filing for arbitration Tuesday, the MLBPA announced.

If they are unable to settle beforehand, they will have arbitration hearings next month. Of course, Gee very likely will be traded by then.

Parnell, who basically missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, settled for $3.7 million -- the same salary as 2014.

The projected salaries:

Murphy $8.1 million
Gee $4.99 million
Duda $4.25 million
Mejia $2.5 million
Tejada $1.7 million

Video: Mets news from holiday party

December, 16, 2014
12/16/14
2:04
PM ET


ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin breaks down the Mets' news from the holiday party at Citi Field.

Santa Mejia OK with Parnell as closer

December, 16, 2014
12/16/14
1:03
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The prospect of Bobby Parnell as Mets closer did not dampen Jenrry Mejia's spirits.

Mejia, who recorded 28 saves in 2014, said he would be fine if he is setting up Parnell next season.


Adam RubinElf Jeurys Familia, Mr. Met and Santa Jenrry Mejia entertained schoolchildren at Citi Field on Tuesday.


Terry Collins has indicated it's Parnell's job to lose, although it's worth noting that Parnell is expected to spend the first few weeks of the season on the DL, in the final stages of his return from Tommy John surgery.

"They put me in the closer's job. I did my job," Mejia said Tuesday, after playing Santa Claus for schoolchildren at Citi Field. "Whatever job they give to me, I've got to be there to help my team. I can throw the seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning, wherever. I've got to be ready to play the game. That's all. Mentally it's the same thing -- just come here and do my job.

"I feel happy to see Bobby Parnell getting ready, because we're going to have a more strong bullpen -- Bobby Parnell, [Jeurys] Familia, [Vic] Black and everybody. That has to make me feel happy, because all of my friends are going to be healthy."

Familia, who played an elf Tuesday, as well as Mejia underwent hernia surgeries after the season. Both indicated they are doing fine, although neither will pitch in winter ball. Mejia suggested he would report to Port St. Lucie, Florida, for spring training early -- likely in January.

"I'm pushed back a little bit," Mejia said about his offseason workouts.

Said Familia: "I felt it in the second half a little bit. I told [trainer] Ray [Ramirez], and he said maybe you're tired or something. ... But when I started working in the Dominican [in the offseason] I started feeling it."

Terry Collins doesn't mind hot seat in 2015

December, 8, 2014
12/08/14
5:41
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- Terry Collins offered his thoughts on the 2015 Mets at the winter meetings on Monday and suggested the team should be competitive, even absent further additions.

"I think we've got the pieces," the manager said. "It's time to step up."

Told that heaped pressure on him as a manager to get results, Collins added: "So what? You put yourself on the hot seat. At my age, there's a lot of numbness down there anyway."

Among the tidbits from Collins:

Juan Lagares is the likely leadoff hitter, with Curtis Granderson the fallback.

Collins acknowledged that Lagares leading off would allow him to alternate righties and lefties throughout the lineup, with Daniel Murphy batting second, David Wright third, Lucas Duda fourth, Michael Cuddyer fifth and Granderson sixth.

"We know he can steal bases. He showed us that last year," Collins said about Lagares.

The manager added that he just needs Lagares to improve his plate discipline.

• Wright is recovering well from his left shoulder injury, but is not yet swinging a bat. Wright should be doing so soon, since he's due to visit new hitting coach Kevin Long in Phoenix later this month.

• Although Sandy Alderson has all but named Wilmer Flores as the starting shortstop and Ruben Tejada as the backup barring an external addition -- and Alderson generally gets his way -- Collins is not prepared to name Flores the starter over Tejada just yet. Collins noted that Tejada has pledged to attend the Mike Barwis-led fitness and nutrition camp in January in Port St. Lucie, Florida. "He's 25," Collins said of Tejada, noting he should not be written off. "It would be one thing if he was 31 or 32."

• Duda, Bobby Parnell, Jonathon Niese and Flores already have been to the Barwis fitness camp this offseason. Collins said 40-plus players, including minor leaguers, are expected to attend in January.

Matt Harvey, who expressed a goal of facing hitters as soon as he arrives in Port St. Lucie in early February, will be on a considerably slower track than that. And as much as Harvey says he's on board with the Mets' plan to shave his innings in-season, Collins noted about the first time the club tries to skip one of his starts: "Oh, there'll be a fight."

• Cuddyer likely will play right field, with Granderson shifting to left field.

• Parnell won't be ready for mound work until late January as he returns from Tommy John surgery and won't be highly active until the middle of spring training. He is likely to open the season on the DL. Still, Collins maintained the closer's job essentially is Parnell's to lose, with Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Vic Black in a competition for the role in the interim.

• The Opening Day bullpen should be Mejia, Familia, Black, Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres, an external addition who is a left-hander and a fill-in until Parnell is ready. Collins indicated Rafael Montero is the best young candidate to fill in at the start of the season in a bullpen role. A year ago, Cory Mazzoni would have been included on that list, but he had an injury-plagued 2014, so the Mets probably won't ask him to relieve to open the upcoming season.

Salary projection: Jenrry Mejia

October, 30, 2014
10/30/14
12:00
PM ET

Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsFill-in closer Jenrry Mejia is projected to earn $2.5 million in 2015.



Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013 in New Orleans. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14) and Jesse Kantor (Pace ’15) offer their salary projections for the Mets’ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy.

The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

On Day 4, here is an analysis of Mejia's projected 2015 salary.

Introduction

Jenrry Mejia began the 2014 season in the rotation and finished it as the closer, a move that significantly increased his value entering his first year of arbitration eligibility. While his foray into starting pitching yielded mixed results, Mejia excelled once veteran fill-ins flopped and he received the opportunity to replace injured Bobby Parnell as closer.

As a reliever, Mejia had 28 saves and a 2.72 ERA. While his overall numbers are not eye-popping, Mejia showed glimpses of brilliance that should allow him to challenge Parnell for the closer role in 2015.

The Case for the New York Mets

The Mets will argue that Mejia is a one-year closer and should not be paid the same as a player who has spent more of his career in the role. While he converted 28 saves in his platform season (19th in MLB), those were the only saves he has earned in his career.

Mejia also has peripheral numbers that suggest he received a bit of luck and does not possess the “stuff” of a traditional closer. His 1.48 WHIP overall (1.42 as reliever) shows he allows too many baserunners and places the team in danger of blowing the lead every outing.

A history of injuries, a lack of career saves and his mediocre numbers in his platform year should keep Mejia’s 2015 salary below that of other deserving closers in previous years.

The Case for Jenrry Mejia

Mejia will argue that he filled in admirably at closer, finishing with six more saves than Parnell the year before. Further, his overall stats should be discounted since he was more effective upon moving to the bullpen. His 2.72 ERA as a reliever was the 11th best in MLB of all closers with at least 20 saves -- better than All-Stars Sean Doolittle, Fernando Rodney and Francisco Rodriguez.

Mejia also will argue that it is not his fault his career saves are low. Mejia proved in his breakout campaign that he has the ability to be dominant and efficient, as evidenced by his 9.4 K/9 ratio and his 90.3 save percentage (sixth in NL).

Comparable Players

Mark Melancon -- 2013 -- Salary: $2.595M

Mark Melancon turned in one of the more impressive relief pitching campaigns in 2013. As a setup man who was thrust into the closer role after an injury to Jason Grilli, Melancon recorded a superb 1.39 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and 16 saves while also being voted an NL All-Star. In addition to the saves, Melancon was credited with 26 holds.

Although Melancon had 12 fewer saves than Mejia in their respective platform seasons, he had nine more career saves to that point, with a much lower ERA and WHIP. Like Mejia, Melancon was not considered the true closer for the majority of his early career, but when given the job Melancon outperformed Mejia statistically. Even with more platform-year saves, Mejia had fewer career saves and worse rate stats and should be paid less than the $2.595 million Melancon received in 2013.

Chris Perez -- 2010 -- Salary: $2.35M

Although an older comp, Chris Perez is helpful. Though he recorded five fewer platform-year saves, Perez pitched in with nine holds, and he recorded an ERA that was more than a run lower than even Mejia’s 2.72 as a reliever. Perez also proved to be the more dominant closer over their respective careers, holding the role for a longer period of time, finishing with 32 saves and was much more difficult to hit based on his lower ERA, WHIP and BAA. Because Perez received his $2.35 million salary in 2010, Mejia may be able to receive slightly above this amount due to the comparison being older.

Predicted Result

2013 proved to be very helpful in our analysis of Mejia’s market because several high-profile closers entered arbitration at the same time. Using the salaries given to both Aroldis Chapman of the Reds ($5 million) and Greg Holland of the Royals ($4.675 million), we deduced that while a strong platform year is helpful, career numbers can help tip the scales in a player’s favor. Chapman, with 11 fewer platform-year saves and an ERA 1.32 worse than Holland, was awarded a salary $325,000 higher. Holland was clearly the more dominant closer during their respective platform years. However, Chapman recorded 10 more saves and a near identical ERA over their careers.

Using this comparable-player-salary analysis, Mejia should be paid less than Melancon despite 12 more platform-year saves because Melancon was clearly the more dominant pitcher over their respective platform years and careers. With an ERA as a reliever that was double that of Melancon and a WHIP 0.52 higher, Mejia benefited from receiving the closer role earlier in the season and capitalized to obtain more saves.

Based on this information, we predict Jenrry Mejia will receive a salary of $2.5 million for the 2015.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187