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AP sources: Furcal agrees to deal with Marlins

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MIAMI (AP)

Rafael Furcal will try to make his comeback from elbow surgery with the Miami Marlins.

The free-agent infielder and the Marlins have agreed to terms on a contract, two people familiar with the situation said Thursday. Both people confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it hadn't been finalized.

In addition, one of the people said, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia passed his physical, and his $21 million, three-year deal with Miami was completed.

The 36-year-old Furcal, a three-time All-Star and the 2000 NL Rookie of the Year, sat out this season after undergoing elbow ligament-replacement surgery in March. He made the NL All-Star team as a starter at shortstop in 2012, when he batted .264 in 121 games for the Cardinals.

Furcal is a 13-year veteran and a .281 career hitter with 314 stolen bases. He's expected to compete for a starting job at second base even though he has played only 36 games at the position, most recently in 2004. Miami already has youngster Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop.

Earlier in his career, Furcal had one of the strongest infield arms in the game.

The Marlins finished last in the majors in 2013 in runs and hitting, and their second basemen combined to bat only .235. Donovan Solano started the most games there and batted .249.

With the winter meetings next week, the Marlins remain in the market for help at third base.

The speedy Furcal spent his first six seasons in Atlanta and the next 5 1/2 with the Los Angeles Dodgers before they traded him to St. Louis, where he helped the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series.

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Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve-Wine

Tagged: Cardinals, Rafael Furcal, Marlins

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