Right-hander Justin Duchscherer has reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract that would keep him with the Oakland Athletics...

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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 earned-run average 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.

Capps signs

with Nationals

WASHINGTON — Reliever Matt Capps reached a preliminary agreement early Thursday on a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Washington Nationals.

Capps can earn an additional $425,000 in performance bonuses for games finished under the deal, which was reached about 12:30 a.m. The pitcher’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said the agreement is subject to a physical that will take place in the first week of January.

“This was the opportunity for him to be a closer and he decided he wanted to stay in that role,” Kinzer said.

The 26-year-old Capps became a free agent this month when the Pirates decided not to offer him a contract for 2010. The right-hander earned 27 saves last season, while going 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA. He struck out 46 batters in 54-1/3 innings.

Kinzer said the bidding lasted through Wednesday night and that Capps turned down a two-year offer from the Nationals, believing he will have a good season and put himself in position for a higher 2011 salary. While Washington was the favorite, other teams also tried to sign Capps.

“There also was the Cubs,” Kinzer said. “The Mets expressed some interest, but it was very late. We were very down the road with it, and it would have been a setup role, too.”

Angels sign Rodney

Reliever Fernando Rodney has signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

The 32-year-old right-hander spent his first seven major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers, including the last two years as their closer. He converted 37 of 38 save opportunities last season, pitching a career-best 75-2/3 innings.

Note

Chan Ho Park has sued his former Dodger battery mate Chad Kreuter, accusing him of failing to fully pay off a $460,000 loan.

Park filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming breach of promissory note and negligent misrepresentation.

The suit claims Park loaned Kreuter $460,000 in October 2005 to be repaid a year later with interest. Park alleges Kreuter paid back $290,000 in April 2007 and the unpaid balance has grown, with interest, to $281,869.73 as of Dec. 1.

Park is a free agent after playing for the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Kreuter retired in 2003.