Gaudin was 11-13 with a 4.42 ERA last season in his first year as a member of the A's starting rotation. Though he slumped with a 3-10 record after the All-Star break, Gaudin tied for the AL lead with 34 starts after pitching exclusively in relief in 2006.
The 24-year-old Gaudin underwent operations on his left hip and right foot on Dec. 18 and is still in a walking boot. His hip, which needed surgery to repair a torn labrum, is recovering well, manager Bob Geren said.
"He's probably the furthest away," Geren said of the health of his starting pitchers.
Gaudin is expected to be part of a rotation also featuring right-handers Joe Blanton, Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer. The A's open the season in Japan against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox on March 25 and 26, and might not need a fifth starter until April 15 -- giving Gaudin ample time to get his body ready.
Gaudin's agreement was halfway between the $2.05 million he had asked for arbitration and the $1.5 million the team had offered. In addition to his salary, Gaudin could earn $100,000 in performance bonuses: $50,000 for 200 innings and $25,000 each for 205 and 210 innings.
Oakland also claimed outfielder Jeff Fiorentino off waivers from Cincinnati and designated outfielder Ruddy Lugo for assignment. Fiorentino spent last season in the Baltimore Orioles organization, batting .282 with 15 homers and 65 RBI for Double-A Bowie, before Cincinnati claimed him off waivers Jan. 4.