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Piazza to DH in Oakland

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Pizza-boy will LOVE being that close to the clubs of San Francisco...

Piazza joins A'

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mike Piazza's days as a catcher in the National League appear to be over.

The former New York Mets, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres backstop agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Oakland Athletics to become their designated hitter.

Piazza, who replaces Frank Thomas as the team's DH, decided between an offer from the A's and one from the Texas Rangers. Texas dropped out of the mix earlier Wednesday.

Oakland general manager Billy Beane, who anticipates Piazza being the DH 99.9 percent of the time, didn't expect anything to be finalized with Piazza until later in the week.

This will be Piazza's first time playing in the American League after spending the first 15 years of his big-league career in the NL as a catcher with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets and Padres.

In Oakland, he would be the No. 3 catcher for the A's behind starter Jason Kendall and backup Adam Melhuse. Piazza batted .283 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI in 126 games in 2006 for the NL West champion Padres, his lone season in San Diego.

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