The Pittsburgh Pirates have released infielder Garrett Atkins, and cut Fernando Nieve and Justin Thomas from major league camp, cutting their Spring Training roster down to 41 players. That group of players does not include Kevin Hart, who is on the disabled list.
All three players were non roster invitees. Atkins was set to make $800 K if he made the majors. He was competing with Josh Fields and Andy Marte for a bench spot, although his performance this Spring, and over the last few years in the majors, has been poor.
Nieve was signed as a minor league free agent early in the off-season and should pitch out of Indianapolis. Thomas was outrighted off the 40-man roster this past off-season, but re-signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent. He had good numbers this Spring, but the recent acquisition of Garrett Olson takes up the left handed relief duties in the bullpen.