Rich Harden was drafted by the Oakland A's in 2000 and made his MLB debut with them in 2003. After a couple years spent with the Cubs and Rangers, he's returning to where it all began, signing a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Oakland on Tuesday.
"I started my career with this organization," the right-hander told The Chronicle by phone. "It kind of feels like home."
The team's assistant general manager David Forst said that they will look for Harden to join the rotation as the fifth starter, he'll have competition for that role -- Brandon McCarthy, Josh Outman, Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer -- meaning it's a possibility the A's will use him out of the bullpen. Which is okay with Harden: "When I have pitched out of the bullpen, I've enjoyed it, and I've always wanted to do it sometime in my career, so I'm not opposed to it."
Harden spent 2010 with the Texas Rangers, going 5-5 in 18 starts -- he missed some time with a gluteal strain. He struggled with a 5.58 ERA, the highest of his career, and was left off the team's postseason roster before being released in October.
Read more at Athletics Nation.