Fernando Nieve signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, the latest addition to the list of Mets relievers who won’t be back in 2011.

Nieve started off well, but was over-used by Jerry Manuel and struggled as the season progressed. I don’t think this is a big loss for the Mets’ bullpen, but it’s starting to look a bit thin out there.

Assuming Francisco Rodriguez is healthy, he’ll be the team’s closer. Bobby Parnell will probably have a chance to be the primary setup guy.¬†After that?

Manny Acosta, Sean Green, Ryota Igarashi, Jenrry Mejia and Tobi Stoner are the only right-handed relievers currently on the 40-man roster who spent time with the Mets this year. Mejia should spend 2011 in the starting rotation in Binghamton or Buffalo, so take him off the list. Green is a non-tender candidate, so he may not still be on the roster by the end of the day.

From the left side, there’s Pat Misch and Oliver Perez. They’ll probably both receive some consideration for the starting rotation as well. Former Washington National Mike O’Connor got a spring training invite this week.

The bullpen will have a new look next year… hopefully that’s a good thing.

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About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper and current contributor to Hot Stove Baseball. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

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