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Harden returns to A's in 1-year deal

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Oakland has officially signed former Athletics right-hander Rich Harden to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, the team said Tuesday.

Assistant General Manager David Forst said Harden could be used as either starter or reliever for the A's, telling the San Francisco Chronicle the 29-year-old will work out with starting in mind during spring training but could be moved to the pen if needed there.

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It's Harden's second tour with Oakland. He came up with the team in 2003 and pitched there until 2008, showing plenty of talent but spending large amounts of time on the disabled list.

He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2008 and last year pitched for the American League Champion Texas Rangers but was left off their post-season roster.

He compiled a 5-5 record with a 5.58 ERA in 18 starts last season. He sports a 55-34 mark and 3.63 ERA in 155 career games, 145 of them starts.

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