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.

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.