PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The United States government has delayed Jenrry Mejia's attempts to obtain a visa to enter the country, pending an investigation into his age and identity.
General manager Sandy Alderson said he believes the review of Mejia's documents is random, though such investigations are rare for international players who have already spent multiple summers in the States. Major League Baseball is conducting the identity review for the U.S. consulate, and the Mets informed the league that they consider it a priority.
Still, the club has no clear idea of how long it may take.
"It was unanticipated by the player, by us, by Major League Baseball for that matter," Alderson said. "It's very unusual for a Latin player who has been to the United States on multiple occasions and has been on a Major League roster for several years to be investigated. But as I said, we don't believe there's any specific reason for it. We think it was done on a random basis."
Mejia, who is officially listed as 22 years old, has played professionally in the United States since 2008. He is working out at the Mets' training facility in the Dominican Republic in an effort to remain on pace with his peers in Florida.
"I'm hoping that the work he's able to get there will not leave him too far behind when he actually gets here," Alderson said.
Though he will likely open this season at Triple-A Las Vegas, Mejia is a fringe candidate for the Mets' Opening Day bullpen. The length of his travel delay could affect that competition.