MINNEAPOLIS -- There was disappointment in Chad Gaudin's voice on March 25, when he emerged from manager Joe Girardi's office and immediately called his agent, shuffling some papers around while reporting the news that he'd been released by the Yankees.
After he hung up the phone, Gaudin prepared to leave George M. Steinbrenner Field and spoke optimistically about how he could help another club. Even he could never have imagined that he'd be back in a Yankees uniform almost two months later to the day, like it had all been a bad dream.
"I didn't know what to think," Gaudin said. "You can't ever figure it out. I didn't commit mentally to anything. The situations came, and this was the best one, for sure."
Gaudin landed with the Athletics and pitched in 12 games, faring 0-2 with an 8.83 ERA before being released.
Gaudin said that "six or seven" teams called with interest on Tuesday, the first day that the right-hander could speak to other clubs, but within a span of three hours Gaudin had already verbally committed to rejoin the Yankees.
Gaudin's No. 41 was reissued to him when the Yankees activated him before Wednesday's regularly scheduled game against the Twins, and he said that it was a "welcoming" and "comforting" feeling to walk through the doors of the visitors' clubhouse at Target Field and see the same familiar faces.
"When you're in that situation, there's no one special team that you think of," Gaudin said. "I know that I pitched well here. I didn't have a great spring, but I enjoyed it. I thought I left on pretty good terms. I thought if the need would be, I could be there."
Gaudin said that he had no hard feelings about his spring, believing that the Yankees gave him enough of an opportunity. His 8.68 Grapefruit League ERA in four appearances made him an odd man out, as the Yankees eventually decided to anoint Phil Hughes as their fifth starter.
"That was a tough moment in Spring Training," Girardi said. "But he's happy to be back and I'm happy to see him; happy to have him back."