Houston Astros Sign Joe Thurston

The Houston Astros continued being active in the minor league free agent market Sunday, by signing left-handed hitting second baseman Joe Thurston to a minor league contract. Thurston, 32, received an invite to spring training as well. Thurston joins his seventh different organization since being drafted in 1999, as a fourth round selection.

Alyson Footer, Houston Astros senior director of social media, announced the deal on Twitter.

The well traveled second baseman joins Travis Buck, Brad Snyder, and Nick Stavinoha as Astros minor league free agent signings this offseason. He'll be looking to make the team out of spring training in hopes of returning to the majors for the first time since 2009.

The 32-year-old Thurston has spent all but 1 game in the minor leagues the past two seasons; playing for the Braves' Class Triple-A affiliate in 2010 and Marlins' Class Triple-A affiliate in 2011. He hit a modest .273/.323/.413 with 13 homers in the Triple-A International League, then saw his numbers jump once moving to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League (.300/.388/.475). 

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