Former New York Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano, who pitched parts of nine seasons with the club, has died at 45 years old, according to ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez on Monday.
The cause of death is unknown, but Perez said that Feliciano “passed away last night in his sleep” after he went jet skiing with his family on Sunday.
Feliciano made 484 career appearances in Major League Baseball, all with the Mets, as he developed into one of the team’s most reliable left-handed relievers during the latter portion of the 2000s.
From 2006-2010, he posted a 3.09 ERA in 299.2 innings while striking out 280 batters. He led the majors in appearances by a reliever for three straight seasons from 2008-2010, earning him the nickname “Perpetual Pedro.”
“The Mets are so saddened to hear of the loss to their family today,” a Mets statement read. “Pedro Feliciano will be remembered as a beloved member of the Mets organization for his impact as a great teammate as well as his reputation as one of the most competitive, durable and reliable relievers during his time in Queens.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Feliciano family. Rest in peace, Pedro.”
The Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico native debuted for the Mets in 2002 after he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds and made 51 appearances for the team over the next three seasons.
After spending the 2005 season with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in Japan, Feliciano re-signed with the Mets and became a fixture of the team’s bullpen in 2006, posting a 2.09 ERA in 64 outings. That season, the Mets won the National League East for the first time since 1988 while advancing to the NLCS.
Feliciano appeared in six games during that postseason, allowing just one run in 4.2 innings of work (1.93 ERA).
His contributions to the Mets earned him a place on the Puerto Rican national team for the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The southpaw signed with the New York Yankees in 2011 but did not appear in a game for them before returning to the Mets in 2013 where he accrued another 25 outings. That very same season, he announced that he was diagnosed with a small hole in his heart. He would not appear in the majors again despite signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014 and Chicago Cubs in 2015.