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Source: Mets talking with Rodney

1/24/2014
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In the wake of the Mets losing out on Grant Balfour, Sandy Alderson has been in dialogue with free-agent closer Fernando Rodney's representatives, a source familiar with the team's interest told ESPNNewYork.com.

Fernando Rodney

#56 RP
Tampa Bay Rays

2013 STATS

  • GM68
  • W5

  • L4

  • BB36

  • K82

  • ERA3.38

Rodney, 36, went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA and recorded 37 saves last season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Mets officials have insisted they have payroll flexibility if a free agent is available at a valued price. The team currently has about $87 million committed to players in 2014.

The talks between Rodney's representatives and club officials are believed to be about the closer's role. That should not suggest there has been any setback with Bobby Parnell. But the interest in back-end relievers demonstrates there is at least some uncertainty as Parnell returns from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck -- an injury that prompted him to miss the final two months of last season.

A source familiar with the Mets' bid for Balfour told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday that the club had the same offer to Balfour as the two-year, $12 million deal he accepted from the Rays.

With LaTroy Hawkins departing as a free agent for the Colorado Rockies, the Mets' late-inning relief staff currently is light on certainty. Parnell performed well last year, converting 22 of 26 saves, but is returning from neck surgery. Vic Black right now is the alternative if Parnell had a setback.