The A's are closing in on a deal to bring right-hander Rich Harden back to Oakland, a source confirmed to Bay Area News Group.
But there's no word when a physical or other details will be completed, so an announcement isn't likely until later in the week. A's officials don't comment on free agents until contracts are finalized, but Harden reportedly would get a one-year deal for $1.5 million, plus incentives.
Harden, 29, spent the first five-plus seasons of his career with the A's (2003-08). Though many felt his natural stuff was better than the "Big Three" of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito, continued injury struggles kept Harden off the mound for much of that tenure.
The A's traded him and pitcher Chad Gaudin to the Chicago Cubs in July 2008 for pitcher Sean Gallagher, catcher Josh Donaldson and outfielders Matt Murton and Eric Patterson. Only Donaldson remains in Oakland's organization.
Harden signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Texas Rangers last winter but battled shoulder and glute injuries. He went 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) and was left off the Rangers' postseason roster.
The A's have at least four candidates to be their No. 5 starter, but they're also looking for bullpen depth, so it's likely they view Harden as a reliever.
All but 10 of Harden's 155 major league appearances have come as a starter, but several teams were thought to be eyeing him in a relief role this season.