Niese, Parnell get discussed in awful Mets weekend update

The Mets were swept by the Braves this weekend, but I didn’t catch a whole lot of it because of all the football on TV. Yesterday, the Mets tied the game at 2-2 on David Wright’s sixth inning RBI double, but ended up losing 3-2 in the 10th inning. Brian McCann hit a solo home run in the game, in addition to the game-winning sac fly.

Here’s my opinion on three fun topics of discussion from the weekend:

Niese on the trading block?

Back on Friday, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com said that the Mets should consider trading Jon Niese for a good, young outfielder like Justin Upton. Upton’s team, the Arizona Diamondbacks were rumored to be trying to move Upton back in July, but nothing every came of it. The Mets actually have a good thing going with their pitching staff, but Upton’s upside is considerably higher than that of Niese.

That said, a trade involving the two players would also have to involve more Mets. I’m pretty sure the Diamondbacks would want a deal to start with Niese and either Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler. If the Mets could swing a deal for Upton that somehow only involved one of those three pitchers, I would do it in a heartbeat, but I’m not sure that’s even in the realm of possibility.

It should be an interesting winter for the Mets, as they have a deep and very obvious need for outfield help.

The future of Parnell

Joe DeCaro of Metsmerized Online displayed a lack of faith in Bobby Parnell today, saying he is “killing” the Mets and that he “doesn’t have the makeup to be a shutdown, late-inning reliever.”

I know that Parnell isn’t the second coming of Mariano Rivera but to say he is killing the Mets is quite an overstatement. He hasn’t been perfect in high leverage situations, but he’s drastically cut his walk rate from last season while moving his ground ball rate from 50.6% to 60.0%. In 57.1 innings this season, Parnell has a 2.98 ERA and 3.12 FIP.

Does that mean that Parnell is the closer of the future? Maybe and maybe not, but DeCaro doesn’t suggest any other candidates for the job. I’m assuming he doesn’t want the Mets to undergo another Francisco Rodriguez contract. If that’s the case, the next ace reliever for the Mets will probably be from inside the organization unless Sandy Alderson gets lucky with a low-cost free agent. Maybe Jenrry Mejia will be that guy or maybe Jeurys Familia (assuming neither is able to improve enough to be worthy of the rotation). Maybe if Parnell improves again next season, he can be a good closer. He’s at least an important part of the bullpen unless you want the Mets to spend money recklessly.

Harvey being shutdown after September 18 start

Matt Harvey’s scheduled start against the Philadelphia Phillies next Tuesday will reportedly be the phenom’s last of the 2012 MLB season. Harvey will make his second-to-last start this Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. Mejia is set to enter the rotation the day after Harvey is shutdown, and I’m also reading on MetsBlog.com that the Mets will try to get Familia a start here or there. Both Mejia and Familia look like long shots for the 2013 rotation, but both still have some upside, so you might as well give them a start in this meaningless September.

You can follow me on Twitter @apy5000

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