Of all the players the New York Mets have that could be traded before the MLB trade deadline, the player that other teams will be most interested in acquiring is closer Bobby Parnell. He has excelled in the closer’s role this season, and would be a huge asset to any contending team down the stretch. But despite the interest other teams will have in Parnell, the Mets would be wise to hold onto him.
A big part of the argument for trading Parnell is that relief pitching is often inconsistent from year to year, and that it’d be better to trade Parnell now while his value high rather than risk a drop off in his performance in the years to come. However, that may not be the case with Parnell. The Mets have suffered through inconsistencies from him for several years, only to watch him finally come into his own this season, and it might be a mistake to let him go now that he’s finally pitching well.
Considering how fickle relief pitching can be, there’s no guarantee the Mets will be able to find a suitable replacement for Parnell, or even a pitcher with the same potential in late relief as him. The Mets have not had a lot of luck finding relief pitchers in free agency, nor do they have anyone in their farm system who profiles as a potential closer, which makes it even more imperative for them to hold onto Parnell.
Ultimately, the offers the Mets receive for Parnell will dictate whether he is traded or not. But unless the Mets are overwhelmed with an offer that includes an elite prospect or multiple top-tier prospects, they should not trade him. Considering how he’s performed this season, the Mets are better off using Parnell as a building block for the future than as a trade chip.