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Pirates sign Chamberlain, Felix

January 30, 1997

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Six years after losing him to the Philadelphia Phillies in a waiver-wire snafu, the Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed outfielder Wes Chamberlain to a minor-league contract.

Also agreeing to a minor-league contract was Junior Felix, a 29-year-old outfielder who played parts of six seasons in the majors. He batted .319 with 19 homers from Reynosa of the Mexican League last season.

Chamberlain and Felix will be among 31 non-roster invitees to the Pirates’ spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla. The group includes former major-league pitchers Tom Bolton, Joe Boever and Steve Parris and infielders Dale Sveum and Kevin Young.

Young, like Chamberlain, is a one-time Pirates minor-league star who never has reached his potential in the majors. Young spent part of last season with the Kansas City Royals.

Chamberlain, 30, was considered one of the Pirates’ top prospects when Larry Doughty, then the general manager, inadvertently put him on waivers in a paper-pushing error in August 1990.

The Phillies claimed Chamberlain and Tony Longmire, another outfield prospect, although the transaction was later structured into a deal that sent first baseman Carmelo Martinez to the Pirates.

Chamberlain was a platoon outfielder for the 1993 NL Champion Phillies and later played for the Boston Red Sox and in Toronto’s farm system. He hit .344 with 37 RBIs in 37 games at Triple-A Syracuse last season and also spent a half-season in Japan, where he batted .253 with 11 homers in 261 at-bats.

Felix last played in the majors with Detroit in 1994.

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