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Oakland A’s nearing 1-year deal with Duchscherer

Right-hander Justin Duchscherer has reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract that would keep him with the Oakland Athletics, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been finalized. Duchscherer’s deal is pending a physical, so an announcement by the team might not come until after Christmas.

A two-time All-Star, the 32-year-old missed all of the 2009 season because of an elbow injury and was treated for clinical depression. He has spent the last six of his seven major league seasons with Oakland, becoming a full-time starter for the first time in his career during 2008. He went 10-8 that year with a 2.54 ERA while pitching a career-high 141 2-3 innings.

Duchscherer earned his second All-Star selection in 2008 and certainly is hoping for a successful return to baseball come 2010.

Having Duchscherer back will add a key veteran presence to a young rotation that featured mostly rookies this past season, including highly touted Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill.

The A’s finished with 75 wins for the second straight season and in last place in the AL West, losing their final seven games.

General manager Billy Beane has been busy this winter. The A’s signed outfielder Coco Crisp on Wednesday and Beane acquired third baseman Jake Fox, second baseman Aaron Miles and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs for three players.

Oakland also was included in the big four-team, nine-player swap last week featuring Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay that brought outfielder Michael Taylor to the A’s. Oakland sent third baseman Brett Wallace to Toronto.

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