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11/13/11 10:08 PM EST

Thurston signed to Minors deal by Astros

HOUSTON -- The Astros agreed to terms Sunday on a Minor League contract with infielder Joe Thurston in a deal that includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Thurston, 32, is a left-handed hitter who has spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues in a utility role for the Dodgers (2002-04), Phillies (2006), Red Sox (2008), Cardinals (2009) and Marlins (2011).

He spent nearly all of 2011 at Triple-A New Orleans, hitting .300 with 13 homers, 59 RBIs and 12 stolen bases while leading the club with a .388 on-base percentage. He appeared in one Major League game for the Marlins last season.

Thurston has appeared in 184 Major League games and is a career .226 hitter with one home run and 27 RBIs. He appeared in 124 games, including 55 starts at third base and seven at second base, for the Cardinals in 2009.

In his Minor League career, Thurston has played most of his games at second base, but has appeared at every position except first base, pitcher and catcher. He has a .294 average in 1,470 career Minor League games and has hit .300 or better five times. Thurston was originally selected in the fourth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft by the Dodgers.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.