Pedro Feliciano, Longtime Mets Pitcher, Dead at 45

Pedro Feliciano, a former pitcher for the New York Mets, died on Sunday, the team announced. He was 45 years old. Baseball analyst Eduardo Perez first shared the news on Monday. The cause of death was not announced, but Perez said that Feliciano died in his sleep. 

"Just found out that former Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano passed away last night in his sleep," Perez wrote on Twitter. "He was 45years young. He was a really good released but a better person off the field. He will be missed. He was jet-skiing yesterday with his family." The Mets also issued a statement on the death of Feliciano. 

"The Mets are so saddened to hear of the loss to their family today," the team said in a statement. "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."

Feliciano had suffered a rare genetic heart condition, which was first diagnosed in 2013. That was the final season of his nine-year career, spent exclusively with the Mets, Feliciano also spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees but never played in the big leagues with the teams. 

Feliciano was drafted by the Dodgers in the 31st round back in 1995. He had success in the Minor Leagues for several years before joining the Mets in 2002. But it wasn't until 2006 whee he became one of the top relief pitchers in the Major Leagues. From 2006-2010, Feliciano appeared in 408 games for the Mets and recorded a 3.08 ERA. He appeared six more times in the 2006 playoffs and held left-handed hitters to a .211 average in his career. Overall, Feliciano appeared in 484 games, which is the second most in Mets history behind John Franco (695). Feliciano then signed a two-year deal with the Yankees but began to have issues with his arm. After two seasons of rehab, Feliciano attempted a comeback in 2013 but got the heart condition diagnosis in the spring of that year.