GM Sees Hard-Throwing Reliever As Key Piece For The Future

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets need bats … badly.

And they have arms — especially at the minor-league level — to trade for bats.  But Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler aren’t the only pitchers who general manager Sandy Alderson isn’t willing to part with.

Add closer Bobby Parnell to that list.

New York will not shop the hard-throwing reliever at the trade deadline, a source told the New York Daily News.

Contending teams are always looking for effective relief pitchers — especially closers — at the deadline, and there’s no question that the 28-year-old will be in high demand come July.

But Alderson wants his club to contend sooner rather than later, and he trusts that Parnell is an important piece moving forward.

“According to a person with direct knowledge of the Mets’ thinking, GM Sandy Alderson considers Parnell a valuable piece for next year, rather than an opportunity to capitalize on a contender’s need,” Andy Martino of the Daily News wrote on Monday.

Alderson has told numerous media outlets over the past few days — and even weeks — that he intends to make moves to improve the roster over the next six months. He reiterated that sentiment on Saturday when speaking with season-ticket holders at Citi Field.

“What I’d like to be able to do is maybe acquire a player or two who will not only be with us this year but into the future,” the GM told fans, according to the newspaper. “That makes sense and is consistent with what we’ve been trying to do longer term. We’re going to keep working at it and I’m sure you’ll see some different faces between now and say the end of July or the All-Star break.”

When Frank Francisco was placed on the disabled list prior to Opening Day, manager Terry Collins named Parnell the full-time closer. In his first year as the sole ninth-inning man, the sixth-year player is having a fine campaign.

Parnell has converted nine of 12 save opportunities — though his defense has been partly to blame for the blown saves — and he has a 2.83 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The closer has recorded 26 strikeouts to eight walks and hasn’t let up a home run.

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