OAKLAND, Calif. — Infielder Jed Lowrie is returning to Oakland after a one-year stay in Houston.

The Athletics acquired Lowrie from the Astros on Wednesday for minor league right-hander Brendan McCurry less than a year after Lowrie left Oakland to sign a three-year deal with Houston.

“Jed is a very good player,” A’s General Manager David Forst said. “He was very good here, he had a good year in Houston. It was a good opportunity for us.”

Lowrie, 31, hit .222 with nine homers and 30 RBI in 69 games for Houston this year, starting 45 at third and 16 at shortstop. He was sidelined for more than three months by a torn ligament in his right thumb, but Forst said he has no concerns about his health.

WHITE SOX: Free-agent catcher Alex Avila agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract.

Avila, 29, is a .242 hitter with 66 homers and 282 RBI during seven big league seasons, all with Detroit, and has thrown out 24.5 percent of attempted base stealers. He was limited to 67 games with Detroit last season because of injuries, including a left knee bone bruise.

ANGELS: Free-agent catcher Geovany Soto agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year contract.

Soto has played for four teams in 11 major league seasons. He spent last season with the White Sox, batting .219 with nine homers and 21 RBI in 78 games.

 Scott Radinsky was named the bullpen coach.

DIAMONDBACKS: Arizona hired Dave Madagan as its hitting coach.

Madagan, 53, spent the last three seasons as the Texas hitting coach. Before that he was the hitting coach for San Diego and Boston.

ROCKIES-CUBS: Colorado traded left-handed reliever Rex Brothers to Chicago for 18-year-old left-hander Wander Cabrera.

Brothers had been designated for assignment by Colorado on Nov. 20.

BREWERS: Nearly two months after back surgery, right fielder Ryan Braun said he’s feeling well and is optimistic he’ll be back to 100 percent for spring training.

DIAMONDBACKS-PIRATES: Arizona traded former Red Sox right-hander Allen Webster to Pittsburgh for cash considerations.