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Canseco signs with minor league team

Pleasanton, CA (Sports Network) - Jose Canseco is making a return to competitive baseball after coming to terms on a contract with the independent San Diego Surf Dawgs.

The 41-year-old Canseco not only will be the everyday designated hitter for the team, but will also try using his knuckleball as a member of the club's pitching staff.

"I'm looking forward to having fun in professional baseball again, as I've really missed it," Canseco said. "I love what this league is doing for players, communities, and families, and I want to be part of it. Rickey (Henderson) had a great experience with the Surf Dawgs last year and it will be great playing for Terry Kennedy and reminding him of the stomping my A's gave his Giants in the '89 World Series!"

Canseco has been outspoken on the steroids issue in baseball, so much that he penned an autobiographical best seller titled "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big." That book detailed steroid use in professional baseball.

In March of 2005 Canseco testified before the House Government Reform Committee in a session on the steroid issue in Major League Baseball.

According to the Surf Dawgs, Canseco now weighs about 230 pounds, down almost 30 pounds from his playing days. Canseco has also agreed to be subjected to the Golden Baseball League's drug testing policy that immediately expels any players found using steroids or illegal drugs.

Last season nine players, out of over 200 tested, were terminated from the league for illegal drug use.

"Jose will be treated consistent with all of our players regarding drug testing," said GBL commissioner Kevin Outcalt.

Canseco was the 1986 American League Rookie of the Year and also was honored as the AL MVP in 1988. A six-time All-Star, he played in four World Series -- winning championships with the 1989 Oakland Athletics and 2000 New York Yankees.

This will be Canseco's second stint in a professional Independent League. He previously played for the Newark Bears in the Atlantic League in 2001 and had his contract purchased by the Chicago White Sox.

"I'm excited to have Jose on the team, for both his playing abilities and for his veteran leadership," Surf Dawgs manager Terry Kennedy said. "We can use his offensive power to get us into the playoffs to defend our title, and I'm very interested in seeing him pitch to see if he can help us there as well."

Canseco will be paid $2,500 per month, the league maximum. He will also have a marketing agreement with the GBL for a personal line of apparel.

06/30 08:27:06 ET