Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors listed Dillon Gee, Daniel Murphy and Bobby Parnell as potential extension candidates.
I love the Dillon Gee story… He comes back from a career threatening blood clot that required arterial surgery and delivers a solid campaign in which he led the team in starts and wins while posting a career best 3.64 ERA and 2.1 BB/9. He got off to a rusty start in April, but got progressively better as the season wore on and posted some of the best second half numbers in the National League with a 2.74 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and an opposing .280 on-base percentage.
Gee symbolizes what the Mets have been trying to do over the last several seasons and that is to throw strikes and command the zone. He shows that you don’t necessarily need a 98 mph fastball to succeed as long as you can spot your pitches and change speeds the way he does. Gee is as close to a keeper as one could get, and with all the fireballers expected to pack this rotation by 2015, the Mets are going to need a pitcher like Gee who offers a different look that would only enhance his rotation-mates’ performances and confound opposing teams. Expect an even better season from Gee in 2014 who has lifted himself from number five starter to somewhere a potential two or three. Extension? I say, why not…
As Ed Leyro wrote a couple of months back, Daniel Murphy had one of the greatest seasons ever recorded by a Mets second baseman in 2013. He finished the year with a .286 batting average, 38 doubles, 13 homers, 78 RBI, 92 runs scored and 23 stolen bases. Prior to Murphy, the only second basemen in franchise history to reach double digits in both home runs and RBI in the same season were Gregg Jefferies and Roberto Alomar. But neither player matched Murphy’s totals in batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and stolen bases. In fact, the only two players in team history who had better numbers than Murphy in all six offensive categories (batting average, doubles, home runs, RBI, runs scored, stolen bases), regardless of their defensive position, were Howard Johnson in 1989 (.287 average, 41 doubles, 36 HR, 101 RBI, 104 runs scored, 41 SB) and David Wright in 2007 (.325 average, 42 doubles, 30 HR, 107 RBI, 113 runs scored, 34 SB).
In a season that saw the 28-year old finish in the National League’s top ten in base hits, doubles, runs scored and even stolen bases, you would think Murphy’s job security with the Mets would be a slam dunk. However, he’s often the subject of trade rumors and was called out by Sandy Alderson for not drawing more walks. In my opinion, Murphy is deserving of an extension and a perfect candidate for one. If the Mets could sign him to a cost-controlled three year deal, it may actually make Murphy more attractive to other teams. But I’d rather keep him.
Mets closer Bobby Parnell is coming back from neck surgery to repair a bulging disc. The hard-throwing righthander is feeling great and Sandy Alderson said he expects Parnell to be ready for the 2014 season.
Parnell, 29, is arbitration eligible and was having the best season of his career since taking over as the team’s closer. He was pitching intelligently and using his secondary pitches better than he ever has before and the results were quite impressive, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 22 saves in 49 games this season.
More importantly, Parnell saw a drastic decline in his home run rate which was at an impressive .18% down from a 1.10% average over the three previous seasons. Additionally, Parnell was missing more bats and had a career best .205 BAA and 2.15 BB/9.
Parnell remains under the Mets’ control through the 2015 season, and after earning $1.7 million this season, he should easily double that in arbitration this Winter. He’s a big piece for the Mets moving forward and has established himself as an effective closer. If he’s healthy, I would consider locking him up for three years, no doubt about it.