One of the most overlooked developments of the 2013 season has been Bobby Parnell emerging as a rock solid closer. Parnell has had his ups and downs as a Met, but he has finally managed to put it all together in one season. As of right now he has 22 saves and a 2.16 ERA.
With the trade deadline on the horizon, Parnell's name has been swirled around as a potential candidate to be moved to another team. Now, the chances Parnell is moved are fairly low, although it could still happen. There are many positives and negatives that would arise from Bobby Parnell getting traded.
One of the best parts of Parnell's stats this season are that his advanced indicators support the numbers he has put up. His FIP is 2.20, and his K/BB ratio is 4.0.
What this shows is that the Parnell you are seeing this season is for real, and he is not just getting overly lucky in a relatively small sample size of innings. An argument can be made that the Mets should hang on to the first semi dominant relief pitcher that they have developed in quite some time based on these numbers alone.
Another important factor with Parnell is his age and relative cost. Parnell is only 28 years old, and that is young enough to be a core part of the team moving forward. If Parnell were 33, the decision to trade him or keep him would be much simpler.
Also, Parnell is under team control until 2016, which will ultimately be for below market value dollar wise. With the recent money that has been tossed around the league to closers (see Jonathan Papelbon, Frank Francisco), having a cheap option to close seems to be a pretty wise idea.
The last argument I will make to keep Parnell has nothing to do with numbers, stats or money at all. For being only 28 years old, Parnell has a good amount of major league experience.
For a team that is going to be very, very young in the upcoming years, Parnell can serve almost as a role model type veteran for the younger players. To me, these are the kind of things that you will not see on any stat sheet, but it is important to have on a winning team.
Now on to why the Mets should send Mr.Parnell packing. On trade deadline day, teams are almost always desperate for reliable relief pitching.
Take for example a few years ago when the Nationals acquired Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps. The Twins overpaid for Capps. There is no doubt in my mind that if they tried hard enough, the Mets could swing a similar deal. If the Mets can get a return equal to Ramos for Parnell, they must make that move.
In general, relief pitcher success fluctuates on a year to year basis. There are not many RP's that are dominant for long stretches of time.
This trend indicates that it is best to sell high on closers, as there is a good chance they will regress at some point. The Craig Kimbrel's of the world certainly do not grow on trees, but the fact of the matter is that it is not all that hard to find a good closer.
LaTroy Hawkins has a 3.15 ERA this season. LaTroy's season shows that it is not that difficult to find effective relievers. He could have been the closer this season and the Mets only have been marginally worse than they are now.
Some more examples of why selling high on relievers is a smart idea include Heath Bell, Ramon Ramirez, JJ Putz, and Frankie Rodriguez. All names that should ring a bell with Mets fans.
Overall, the decision to trade Parnell is going to boil down to the return, just like any other player. I can see both sides of the argument, but I am more inclined to think it is in the best interest of the team's future to trade him.