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Twins sign Rich Harden to minor-league contract

Photo: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

Rich Harden last took the field in 2011 when he was with Oakland.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins have signed injury-hampered right-hander Rich Harden to a minor-league contract with an invitation to compete for a spot on the staff in spring training.

The move was made Friday. The 31-year-old Harden missed the entire 2012 season after surgery on Jan. 31 to repair the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder.

Harden has the third-best strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio in the majors since 2003, when he debuted with Oakland. He pitched seven years for the A's, last in 2011, and also spent time with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. Harden has surpassed 150 innings in only one season, in 2004.

The Twins also announced left-hander Scott Diamond had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove a bone chip from his elbow. The team said he'll be ready for spring training.

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