So neither of them were floored Tuesday when told they'd been sent by the A's to the Cubs in a six-player trade, and while both said they were happy to be heading to a team considered by many to be the best in the National League, they weren't exactly doing back-flips.
"It's tough to prepare yourself for something like this," Harden said in the A's clubhouse, minutes after the trade was announced. "Every year there's rumors, but you really never know. ... I haven't had much time to think about it. It's tough leaving this organization because this is the only team I've known, and this is my first trade."
It's the third trade for Gaudin, who was sent from Tampa Bay to Toronto in 2004 and from Toronto to Oakland in 2005.
"I have no hard feeling toward the A's at all," Gaudin, who left the clubhouse before it was opened to the press Tuesday, told MLB.com by phone. "This is a business, and ... it's something you don't have any control over, so why worry about it? The A's gave me a chance to be a starter in 2007, and I'll always appreciate that I got to prove I could do it there.
"The guys [in Oakland] are great, I wish them nothing but the best, and I'm sure they'll be a good team for a long time."
Both pitchers were pleased to be making the trip to the Windy City together. Gaudin said he was flying to Chicago on Wednesday morning, and he'd heard that Harden was on the same flight.
"I was happy to hear that Chad's going with me," Harden said. "It's always good to have a teammate follow you over. And he's been traded before, so he knows what this is like. I couldn't ask for a better situation to go into. It's a great city with great fans. I'm definitely looking forward to getting there."
"It's cool that I'm going over there with someone else," Gaudin said. "That's always nice. But I played for [Cubs manager Lou Piniella] in Tampa Bay in 2003, and the [Matt Sinatro, the first-base] coach in Chicago was our bullpen coach in Tampa, and I know a couple players over there, too, so it's not like I'm going in cold. I'll be familiar with a lot of the faces in that clubhouse."
Neither Harden nor Gaudin will be familiar with the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, but they're looking forward to their first full-time National League experience.
"The great thing about going to the Cubs is you know they have a chance to win," Gaudin said. "They always seem to have a chance to win. And they play in a great place in front of great fans. Everyone I know who's ever played there just loved it, and I'm sure I will, too. It's a great situation.
"They haven't said anything about how they're going to use me, but I'm not worried about that. Obviously, I like starting, but I'm sure they have a plan for me, and whatever it is, I'll do what I did for the A's. I'll do what they tell me they need and do it as well as I can."
"They're a good team, and they have a chance of doing something special," Harden said. "I'm definitely excited, but at the same time, it's tough leaving."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.