Fernando Nieve is one pitcher who won’t be part of the 2011 Mets in any capacity. He signed a minor league contract with the Pirates and received an invitation to their spring training camp, according to The Associated Press.
The 28-year-old Nieve had a 6.00 ERA in 40 appearances with the Mets last season. He was much more effective in his brief 2009 stint with the Mets, when he was 3-3, with a 2.95 ERA in eight games. He is 8-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 99 games with the Astros and Mets.
He started off strongly last season with the Mets before overuse burned his arm out. Jerry Manuel used him so much, the booth commentators called him Nightly Nieve. In May and June alone, he had 28 appearances.
The Mets also lost reliever Raul Valdes to the St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 19. He was 3-3, with a 4.91 ERA in 38 appearances. Not only was he effective early on as a pitcher, he wasn’t a bad batter either. He was 4-for-10, with an RBI, a run and a double.
If the Mets also lose Pedro Feliciano to another team, which seems likely, they’ll be down three relievers. However, they did re-sign minor league lefty Mike O’Connor, who could provide a replacement southpaw if he makes it through spring training.
Do you think these losses will be felt or it was time to cut them loose?