Reliever Market Has Evaporated, But Mets Still Seek Veteran Arm

An article by posted on February 11, 2014

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February 11

Sandy Alderson said today, that while the free-agent market for relievers has evaporated, he would still prefer to bring in one more experienced relief pitcher to compete for a spot in the bullpen.

While he didn’t say it would be on a major or minor league deal, the fact that Sandy said he would compete for a spot leads me to believe we’re talking about a minor league deal here.

That said, he’s very happy to go with what he has in camp, and while he could entertain the possibility of a Jake deGrom or Rafael Montero in the bullpen, that certainly would not be the case with Noah Syndergaard.

I love our options in the bullpen. We’ve got some high octane relievers that should give us a better pen than in the last few seasons.

February 10

Bobby Parnell is about two weeks behind his typical schedule, but the New York Mets closer fully expects to be ready for Opening Day according to a new report from Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Rubin says that Parnell typically would be throwing off a mound right now, but will wait about two weeks extra this year before doing so. He showed up to camp early and is tossing a baseball on flat ground at 120 feet without any issues.

“Everything is feeling great — no pain with it or anything like that. So my confidence is getting better.” 

But as Rubin points out, until Parnell gets on a mound and begins airing out fastballs, even he will not know for sure whether he has fully recovered.

The Mets are still searching for bullpen help and watched Joel Hanrahan throw a light bullpen on Friday, but he is still a long way from pitching competitively. Rubin said the Mets are believed to be interested in Ryan Madson as well, although a team insider did not think the Mets dispatched a scout to watch Madson recently throw for teams.

All of that said, Parnell isn’t worried about losing his job as the Mets closer.

“I don’t pay attention to it at all,” he said. “It’s baseball. That’s front-office stuff. I just have to take care of my stuff.”

The Mets avoided arbitration with Parnell and agreed to a one-year, $3.7 million deal with him last month, and he can earn an additional $50,000 bonus if he appears in 60 games.

Parnell had 22 saves last season and posted a 2.16 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in an injury shortened season.

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