NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- During last year's winter meetings, Mets officials seriously contemplated accepting an offer for Bobby Parnell as the Detroit Tigers made a strong push. The Mets passed, though, because Parnell remained under their control for four more seasons and possessed a fastball that could touch 100 mph.

This winter, Parnell appears virtually untouchable, according to a major league source.

That's partly due to Parnell's performance down the stretch, including allowing one earned run in 12 innings in September.

The other factor: The Mets, right now, have no alternative as a primary setup man for Frank Francisco. Nor do they have another arm to step in should Francisco require a trip to the disabled list. Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez are free agents and unlikely to return, while Tim Byrdak likely will not be ready until the second half of the season in a best-case scenario.
There goes that idea.