As the Oakland Athletics continue making a variety of offseason moves, they find themselves close to bringing back a former Athletic. Susan Slusser has been tweeting throughout the morning and early afternoon that the A’s have agreed to terms on a one year contract worth $1.5 million plus incentives. Given the competition for the fifth spot and Harden’s injury history, it is believed he would be slotted for a spot in the bullpen.
While the contract terms have apparently been confirmed, the deal will not be done until the physical examination. And considering Rich Harden’s injury history, this physical is no small thing. Harden struggled in 2010 with injuries and general ineffectiveness as the Rangers elected to decline their half of an $11 million option for 2011.
If he can pass the physical this week and get on the A’s roster, a consistent role in the bullpen could be the cure to what ails Harden. While Harden has electric stuff, he’s always run up his pitch count incredibly high and thus has rarely finished any starts. In the bullpen pitch count would be much less of an issue. The A’s have a solid bullpen as it currently stands, so Harden would not have a lot of pressure to be “the guy” in any particular situation.