The New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers shocked everyone after the All Star Game on Tuesday night when they announced a trade that sent closer Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Brewers for two players to be named later. Although moving K-Rod was inevitable, no one would’ve expected it to occur immediately following the ASG. That being said, I hope Sandy Alderson made the best deal available. For anyone that does not know, a “player to be named later” is one in which the GM chooses from a list of players that the other GM has deemed available to acquire. In this case, Alderson has until September to scout and select any two players out of five that were offered. Regardless of the return, Alderson was able to move a guy with a huge 2012 option that was guaranteed to vest. This gives him more financial flexibility in the offseason to sign a Jose Reyes or other free agents to improve the organization.
With Francisco Rodriguez out, there is a vacancy in the closer role that is screaming Bobby Parnell’s name. Parnell has the makeup of a closer at 6’4″ 200 lbs throwing 98-100+ mph heat. The only question is whether or not he can turn his raw talent into success in the role. Since getting called up to the majors in 2008, Parnell has been thrust into and out of the starting and middle relief role. After a failed experiment as a starter, he was given an opportunity to setup for Francisco Rodriguez where he has struggled to find consistency ever since. When he is on his game, hitters can’t touch his fastball and slider combo. If he wants to excel in the closer role, these pitches need to be perfected. Otherwise, Terry Collins can look to Jason Isringhausen or Pedro Beato for the job.
Who would you like to see getting the bulk of the closing duties?