Bobby Parnell injury: Mets closer has partial tear in MCL

Elsa

Jose Valverde could be next in line for save opportunities in New York.

The Mets have announced that closer Bobby Parnell has a torn MCL ligament in his throwing elbow, as Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. Free agent signing and former Tigers and Diamondbacks closer Jose Valverde appears to be the leading candidate to replace Parnell.

Parnell, 29, finished the 2013 season with a 2.16 ERA and 22 saves in 50 innings for the Mets in his first full year as the team's closer. He received a Platlete Rich Plasma injection in his elbow on Tuesday and will rest for two weeks before being evaluated for surgery, according to ESPN New York.

Valverde, 36, struggled in his return to the Tigers last year.

In 19⅓ innings, he put up a 5.59 ERA and saved just nine games despite finishing 18 for Detroit. In the past, he's functioned as a solid ninth inning guy, saving 40 games or more three times -- 286 in his career, making him tied for 27th all time with Rod Beck and Jonathan Papelbon.

The Mets could turn to Jeurys Familia or Jake DeGrom if Valverde struggles again in 2014. The also have left hander Scott Rice, and righties Gonzalo Germen and Carlos Torres in the majors and a rather notable prospect -- Noah Syndergaard -- in the minors. It's unclear if the Mets would consider Syndergaard, and his mister fastball, for a relief role a la David Price or Adam Wainwright to begin his career.

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