2 GUYS TALKING: Bobby Parnell, Keeper or Trade Fodder?


We both love Bobby Parnell. For starters, this is how you get a closer — you make him, you don’t go out and buy the guy for $10 million a year. At least, that’s the ideal. He’s been terrific. Are you a believer?


Yes, and everyone relax about the other night. One game is one game.


The standard line is that he’s “learned how to pitch.” But I liked Parnell’s recent comments that for the first time this season, he felt like he had room to fail. That every outing didn’t come with the pressure that he might lose his role if he had a bad turn. It’s a fine line, isn’t it? We watch guys like Cowgill go from “Fans are going to love how this guy plays the game” to, well, Vegas, baby. Andrew Brown got 15 ABs with the Mets, hit a homer, and was demoted. At the same time, at least we can say that Robert Carson is not pitching with the added fear of losing his job. Apparently he can do whatever he wants!


If Carson was right-handed he would have been gone a long time ago. The fascination teams have with keeping terrible guys around because they use a different hand to pick up a fork is nuts to me. With Parnell I felt like it was more his mastery of that knuckle curve he learned from Isringhausen than “learning how to pitch.”  That short second stint from Izzy had many positive repercussions.


There’s a scenario that says, Bobby Parnell has real value on the open market right now. Everybody needs bullpen help and teams traditionally overpay for the privilege. Go back and trace some of the Mets all-time worst trades and the desire for a late-inning arm is at the root of many of those deals. Would you advocate trading our closer this July? We could come back with an everyday hitter.


Sure, right now you have to advocate just about anything that improves the major league team. If it’s for more A ball prospects, though, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.


Yes, but, nobody in contention is going to give up a quality outfielder in the midst of a pennant race. I’d go for the right AAA guy. I think it comes down to a realistic assessment of where the team is at in 2014. And honestly, only Sandy Alderson can make that evaluation; there’s so much that even the most dedicated fan simply doesn’t know.

That said, the 3-year plan, without spending, was never realistic. There’s still almost no positional talent in the minor leagues. If the team isn’t going to contend until, at best, 2015, maybe Parnell is a luxury we can’t afford. And again, where are these outfielders going to come from? [Note: I’m just back from watching outfielder and PED-offender Cesar Puello belt 2 homers in Binghamton today — report to come, maybe.] Free agency isn’t going to get it done. I don’t believe for a minute that Alderson will outbid the world for Shoo. OTOH, if Alderson truly believes the words he’s been telling us for the past three years, then you keep Parnell — he fills a real need.


Saul Katz, every bit as much an owner of the Mets as Fred and Jeff Wilpon

Saul Katz, every bit as much an owner of the Mets as Fred and Jeff Wilpon

The realistic assessment is they need to do whatever it takes to be competitive in 2014. 2006 was a long time ago and all the “Omar contracts” will be off the books. All moves should now have the short-term (2014) as well as the long-term in mind. Whether it was Sandy, or Fred, or Jeff, or Saul, or Ben Baumer, I will always maintain that the idea to blow off the 2013 offseason was dumb business. It clearly made being competitive in 2014 more difficult. They will have to overpay now to rectify that. They can’t afford to blow off another year. I mean those words literally. So Parnell is not a luxury. He is a major league talent, and we need them in spades and we need them now. If someone needs his unique skill set, closer, bad enough at the break to overpay in major league ready talent, go for it. Otherwise he should stay.

It’s basically George Allen time. The future is now! Even Sandy knows.

the future is now

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  1. eric says:

    My Mantra on Parnell has always been SELL HIGH.

    Until this year he was a Hot Arm and nothing else. To his credit, he’s begun to mix his pitches a bit. STILL, he does not move a hitters eyes or feet very often….it minimizes the Fastball when it is so often delivered in the same slot.

    I’m not at all a fan of Parnell—- and the team has obvious needs at and below the MLB level. OVERSELL him at deadline if possible.

    • The more I think about it, the I suspect that the off-season wi be the best time to move him, with the best chances of an MLB player in return. Again, I am not advocating this, just not ruling it out, either.

  2. If the fit is right, I would trade anyone not named Matt Harvey, but that being said, I just fail to see who the team and GM is that trades a major league position player for Bobby Parnell.

    I suppose circumstances always have a habit of presenting themselves, I mean Sabean found a taker for Ramon Ramirez and acquired a major league outfielder for him. Problem is our dream team made that move.

  3. Not sure what the point is of opening one hole to fill another. Sure, the Mets have lots of needs, and I’m not saying that Parnell shouldn’t be traded under any circumstances. But I doubt that, even acknowledging the need some clubs will have for relief pitching, that any of them would trade an impact position player for him. And who needs yet another AAA-type guy? We already lead the league in that category. Half a season as a successful closer is not going to get another team salivating for this guy. Perhaps next year, if he continues to be successful, and another team offers a serious MLB-ready player, then sure. I just think we’re jumping the gun on this one out of sheer desperation. Not a good spot to be trading from.

    • The point, during the offseason, would be about positional depth and scarcity: we have pitching, we don’t have hitting. And that Parnell is, IMO, a very attractive player.

      Moreover, I think “closer” — while essential for playoff-caliber teams — tends to be a wasted area of strength for crappy ones. If “the plan” is to remain crappy for a while longer, if 2014 is going to be another bust, then I would be open to acquiring a young, PROMISING outfielder/hitter.

      Lastly, it ties into my vision of building a bullpen, from within, bringing up young arms. I think the Mets are almost in a position to do this, as all these young arms are not going to be starters. Ideally, the organization develops and creates the next Parnell, and the next, and the next.

      • You may very well be right about being able to develop the next closer from within, but that’s a crap-shoot. While I generally agree with you that having a solid closer on a poor team is not the #1 priority, I’m not sure how it helps keep butts in the seats if you end up blowing ninth inning leads every couple of days because you have a parade of characters tromping in from the ‘pen. If Harvey ends up with several no-decisions in a row thanks to blown saves, it will become an issue with him, with the fans, with the N.Y. media, etc.
        As I said, I wouldn’t completely rule out a deal for Parnell. I’m just not all that optimistic that other G.M’s view him as a big enough fish at this point to surrender someone of high value to land him. If so, fine. Let’s go for it.

  4. Eric says:

    The best shot at maximizing return is at the Trade Deadline to a Contending team. The contender is NOT trading a front line core player….. a package that includes a Major League USABLE player PLUS a near MLB “Waiting in Line: prospect is the real top outcome.

    IF>>>IF>>>> Let’s say Boston becomes convinced that they NEED Parnell. They may be in position to Trade a Daniel Nava and a Prospect for him…Ceccini’s Brother? Parnell and a “piece” for Nava and Garin Ceccini? Parnell and a Piece for Jackie Bradley?

  5. Michael Geus says:

    No moves involving Parnell work for me that do not improve our projected 2014 outlook. That won’t be easy to do, and I expect to see him closing on Opening Day next year.

  6. Again, last year Justin Upton was available. I don’t know who will be out there, if anyone, next season. So there could be a salary component to a future deal, too. Hey, I don’t know. But I believe he’s an attractive chip.

  7. Eric says:

    Sell High…….. I fear he is destroying that possibility

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