New York Mets' closer Bobby Parnell will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and miss the entire 2014 season, according to a team announcement. As was reported earlier in the week, Parnell has a partial tear of the MCL in his right elbow, leading to his decision to undergo the surgery.
Parnell, 29, made one appearance this season before discomfort in his elbow became too much to handle. He was one of the best closers in baseball last year, posting a 2.16 ERA and recording 22 saves in 49 appearances in 2013. At the trade deadline, he drew significant interest from many contenders who were looking for late-inning relief help, but the Mets ultimately held onto him in hopes of having him be a force in their bullpen for years to come.
In Parnell's absence, the Mets will initially turn to Jose Valverde, who they signed to a minor league deal this offseason. The 36-year old has been flawless in his first two appearances for the Mets, surrendering only one hit and recording a save in 2.1 innings of work. If Valverde becomes a problem later in the season, the Mets could look to add a closer on the free agent market, and have some names to choose from.
According to a baseball source, there is "definitely a possibility" that the Mets sign free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Hanrahan is expected to sign in the near future, and could be the veteran piece that the Mets are looking for at the back-end of their bullpen. In addition, Ryan Madson, who is also rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is also available on the free agent market, along with veteran Kevin Gregg.