OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- After suggesting that he would retire, veteran infielder Randy Velarde agreed to a one-year contract Friday with the Oakland Athletics.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Velarde, 39, earned $3.15 million last season.
Velarde returns to Oakland, where he spent a portion of the 1999 and entire 2000 seasons. He hit .331 in 61 games for the A's in 1999 and was the starting second baseman for the American League West championship team in 2000.
Oakland dealt him to Texas following the 2000 season and the Rangers shipped him to the New York Yankees on Aug. 31. Between the teams, he batted .278 with nine homers and 32 RBI.
Velarde could challenge for a starting role at second base and might even see time at first following the departure of Jason Giambi. Starting second baseman Frank Menechino was a bit of a disappointment in 2001, hitting just .242 with 12 homers and 60 RBI.
Velarde is a 15-year veteran with a career batting average of .278 with 98 homers and 437 RBI. He also has spent time with the Angels.
To make room for Velarde on the 40-man roster, the team designated infielder Oscar Salazar for assignment.