ITALY – The Italian Baseball League club Telemarket Rimini has signed former Major Leaguer Josh Phelps for the 2011 season. The re-tooled Pirates have also added newcomers Dushan Ruzic, Jan Rehacek, Max De Biase, Panagiotis Sikaras, Paolo Tanesini, Daniele Santolupo and Brandon Chavez.
Phelps hails from Alaska and played eight seasons (2000-2008) in the big leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
The 32-year-old first baseman/designated hitter was selected by the Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 1996 MLB amateur draft. In 2002-2003, he hit a combined .284 with 35 homers, 98 runs scored and 124 RBIs in 193 games.