BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying that they have granted right-hander Fernando Nieve his unconditional release.

The announcement comes one day after the Pirates reassigned Nieve to Minor League camp. He had been invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player, and was in the mix for a bullpen spot.

Nieve, who spent the last two years in the Mets' organization, allowed eight earned runs and 17 hits in 7 1/3 spring innings. He struck out eight and walked two.

Nieve was expected to begin the season with Triple-A Indianapolis.