Pirates miss out on Neshek, still seeking ‘pen help

Reliever Pat Neshek was believed to be near the top of the Pirates’ wish list prior to reportedly reaching a deal with the Astros on Wednesday. Considering the Pirates’ primary focus was on re-signing Francisco Liriano until late Tuesday, however, it’s unclear just how strongly, if at all, Pittsburgh actually pursued Neshek.

Either way, with Liriano now reportedly squared away, the club’s next objective is still to add another reliever, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Pirates would prefer to add a left-hander after trading southpaw Justin Wilson to the Yankees earlier this offseason, but it’s not a requirement. Now that Wilson is out of the picture, the only left-hander currently slated to begin the year in Pittsburgh’s bullpen is Tony Watson.

With that in mind, the Pirates would certainly benefit from adding another lefty, though they aren’t going to limit their search for bullpen help stricly to southpaws. For the record, the list of remaining lefties on the free agent market includes Craig Breslow, Wesley Wright, Phil Coke, Neal Cotts and Wade LeBlanc.

— Paul Casella

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