"So yeah, I do want to be back here."
Thomas, who turned 40 in May, said he wants to play at least one more season -- possibly two.
"I've always said I want to play until I'm 41 or 42," he said. "That hasn't changed, either."
A free agent at the end of the year, Thomas didn't talk financial specifics about returning to Oakland, but he suggested that he won't be looking for huge money. He's been on the disabled list twice this season, and he conceded that it's getting harder to bounce back from injuries as he gets older.
"All I can do is work as hard as I can to keep this old body in shape," he said while riding a stationary bike in the clubhouse before batting practice. "But the desire is still there, the hunger to be a great player. I'm not playing this game for money. Never have."
Asked if he might look first to latch on with a team that appears closer to winning a championship than the rebuilding A's, Thomas, who was batting .270 with a .367 on-base percentage, five homers and 18 RBIs in 45 games with the team through Monday, said Oakland is closer than most people think.
"I see the pitching here, and that's what it's all about," he said. "That's what I saw when I was with the Blue Jays, and the potential is still here. We've got good, young arms in Smitty [Greg Smith], Gio [Gonzalez], [Sean] Gallagher, and the other lefty, [Dana] Eveland; he'll be back up here. And we've got Duke [Justin Duchscherer] and some good young arms in the bullpen.
"I love it here. I loved it when I was here in 2006, and I still do. All the young guys here, it keeps me young, too."
Thomas added that he's talked to fellow veteran Mike Sweeney, who is on the disabled list, and has a feeling that Sweeney also wants to come back to the A's.
"I think so, yes," Thomas said. "He sees the same things I see."