Bucs Claim Phelps

The Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday claimed first baseman/catcher Josh Phelps off waivers from the New York Yankees. Phelps hit .263 (21-for-80) with two doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI in 36 games this season with New York before being designated for assignment on June 19.

"He's a right-handed hitter that will probably strengthen our bench," Pirates' General Manager Dave Littlefield said. "He does catch as well as playing first base - so he'll give Jim Tracy even more freedom to be able to use Ryan Doumit where ever he needs."

Phelps has a career average of .268 (344-for-1283) with 69 doubles, four triples, 59 home runs and 224 RBI in 388 games in the big leagues. He hit a career-high 20 home runs along with 66 RBI during the 2003 season with Toronto. During the 2002 campaign with the Blue Jays, he hit .309 with 20 doubles, 15 home runs and 58 RBI in 74 games while finishing sixth in American League Rookie-of-the-Year balloting.

Phelps is expected to join the Pirates on Saturday for the club's game against the Angels.

When Phelps gets here we'll make another roster move and that's something with him just being alerted that he was claimed today and we'll see when he gets here, but when he does we'll send somebody out," Littlefield stated.

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