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Marlins to sign Matt Downs to minor league contract

Washington Nationals v Houston Astros

HOUSTON - AUGUST 08: Matt Downs #16 of the Houston Astros pounds his helmet on the ground after being called out on the front end of a double play in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on August 8, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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According to Joe Frisaro of, the Marlins are close to signing Matt Downs to a minor league contract. He’s expected to get an invitation to spring training.

Downs, who turns 29 in March, batted .202/.253/.371 with eight home runs, 16 RBI and a .623 OPS in 191 plate appearances with the Astros last season. Originally drafted by the Giants back in 2006, he owns a .230/.296/.406 batting line in the majors.

Downs offers some pop from the right side and versatility between the infield and the outfield, so he could make the Marlins in a super-utility role.