The Twins have signed free agent starter Rich Harden to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, the team announced. Wasserman Media Group represents Harden, who missed the entire 2012 season with a right shoulder strain. The right-hander underwent shoulder surgery to repair his right rotator cuff in January.
Harden last pitched at the MLB level in 2011, posting a 5.12 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 82 2/3 innings for the Athletics. If healthy, the 31-year-old would join a number of other newcomers in a rotation that's been remodeled in the past two months. GM Terry Ryan has also acquired starters Vance Worley, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey and prospect Alex Meyer this offseason.
Harden achieved considerable success early on in his career, posting a 3.99 ERA in 189 2/3 innings in his age-22 season. He continued to strike out opposing hitters at an impressive rate, but soon sustained shoulder and oblique injuries. The Victoria, British Columbia native has not qualified for the ERA title since his first full season with the A's, back in 2004.