Originally posted on New York Mets Report  |  Last updated 7/11/13
The New York Mets are finally showing signs of life to the point where their rebuilding plan could be believable. So, what should their next step be? Hmmm, according to some they should trade Bobby Parnell. Unless they are offered a knockout package – that would include the likes of Jackie Bradley – they should hang tight to Parnell. PARNELL: Keep him. Because of the save rule, which needs to be modified, the save is undervalued and the stock argument is a closer can always be found. If that is the case, tell it to the Tigers and Red Sox. Tell it to the Yankees, who, if they haven’t already, will admit to being spoiled after Mariano Rivera retires. Dave Robertson is the one who will slide into the ninth-inning role for the Yankees next year. But, he will learn there’s a vast difference between being the set-up man and THE MAN. There’s something about the ninth inning with no safety net that changes your perspective. It’s not as simple as measuring the basket in Hoosiers and discovering “it’s 10 feet, the same as in our gym back in Hickory.’’ There’s a mentality shift in becoming a closer and not everybody can make it happen like Rivera. Ron Davis found it a lot harder being the closer than the set-up man for Goose Gossage. The fact is closers aren’t a dime a dozen. While it seems every team has somebody with 25 or more saves, then why are so many teams still looking? It has taken time, but Parnell is finally grasping the ninth inning role. He’s spit the bit before, but this year it’s coming together for him and the contenders are noticing. And, like vultures circling what they perceive as a dead carcass in the Mets’ season, they are waiting for Sandy Alderson to make Parnell available. However, there’s no longer the inevitability this will be the Mets’ fifth straight losing season. The Mets were 15 games under .500 on June 15, and were losing in the ninth inning the following day when Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered off the Chicago Cubs’ once invincible starter Carlos Marmol. They have scrapped back to eight games under today. In that span, Matt Harvey has won two games, lost one and had two of his ten no-decisions. Harvey’s overall year, plus Zack Wheeler’s promise have painted the picture of the Mets being relevant in 2014. Will trading Parnell push them over the top? No, because if they deal Parnell they will put themselves in position of needing a closer. Trading Parnell tells us the gap to competitiveness is a lot wider. What the Mets should do is nothing. They should keep Parnell, keep Marlon Byrd and keep whatever other chips they might have and try to make something out of this season. Will they reach the playoffs? Probably not, but if management lets them play out the season we would get a clearer picture of their needs heading into the offseason. If the Mets traded Parnell and Byrd, it would signify surrender, which could lead into a tailspin and blur how good or bad they are. Trading Parnell, or even suggesting it, displays a loser’s mentality. As always, your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to answer them. Please follow me on Twitter @jdelcos
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