AP sources: Furcal agrees to deal with Marlins

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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