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12/24/07 6:10 PM EST

Marlins reel in Castillo

Veteran infielder another option for Florida's third-base void

MIAMI -- Another infield option has been added to the Marlins' third-base equation.

Late Monday afternoon, the Marlins announced the signing of Jose Castillo, who brings experience playing either second or third base.

The 26-year-old, formerly with the Pirates, is coming off a season where he batted .244 with 18 doubles and 24 RBIs. In 2006, Castillo appeared in a career-best 148 games, hitting .253 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Castillo has recently been playing Winter League ball for Caracas in Venezuela, where he was batting .370 with seven homers and 34 RBIs through 45 games.

The Marlins are exploring several infield options to fill the void at third base created in early December, when slugger Miguel Cabrera was traded to the Tigers during the Winter Meetings.

Castillo has primarily played second base in Pittsburgh, although he appeared in 34 games at third base in 2007.

The signing of Castillo places Florida's 40-man roster at 39.

The addition of Castillo also gives the team the flexibility to move second baseman Dan Uggla to third base. In his two big league seasons, Uggla has never seen action at third, but he played some games there in the Minor Leagues.

The Marlins also continue to look at other free agents on the market, including Jorge Cantu.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.