OAKLAND -- Sam Fuld took the long road to Oakland, literally.

The center fielder was with the Minnesota Twins on a road trip in Kansas City Wednesday night when he learned he'd been traded back to the A's, the team with which he'd spent spring training and most of April.

He got up Thursday morning while the A's were spending their time finalizing the trade of Yoenis Cespedes and a draft choice to Boston for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, got in a car with his wife and three kids and drove six hours from K.C. to Minneapolis. He then packed up everything he thought he'd need and caught the first flight to the Bay Area.

``It seemed like the right thing to do,'' Fuld said Friday afternoon before getting dressed in the green and gold uniform he was reluctant to leave when the A's designated him for assignment due to a roster overload in April. ``The last 48 hours, 36 hours have been a real whirlwind.''

The A's must do for the moment without Coco Crisp, who has ongoing neck issue as he tries to recover from whiplash suffered while running into a wall pole in center field on May 7. And Craig Gentry (broken hand) is on the disabled list for at least a couple of weeks.

Fuld is the center fielder of the moment. He goes from Minnesota, where he was having a good season (.274) for a poor team (the Twins started Friday 48-59 and 11 games out of first place) to Oakland, where he joins the team with the best record in the Major Leagues (66-41).


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``It's exciting. It's why any of us play the game,'' Fuld said of playing for a team with a solid shot at going deep into the post-season. ``Especially more so as your career extends. I've had a taste. There's nothing that compares to that.

``I feel like I played well individually in Minnesota, but it feels like there was something lacking. The longer we were playing, the further out we got, and it's a little disheartening. Every player dreams of being in a playoff place like this.''