OAKLAND -- Even as a member of the Nationals, Kurt Suzuki kept tabs on the A's. He followed the box scores to see how his former teammates -- and friends -- were fairing on the other side of the country. It had been a little more than a year since he had been dressed alongside them in the green and gold.
Whether he'd ever play with Oakland again -- where he spent his first six big league seasons before a midseason trade last year -- he had no way of knowing.
"You never know, but I didn't think it was going to happen this quick," said Suzuki, who was traded back to the A's on Aug. 23 and homered in his return to the Coliseum on Friday night. "I was kind of shocked, but at the same time, I was pretty excited."
Suzuki was received favorably in the clubhouse and particularly with the pitchers, with whom he's well versed. He said it took only about a day to get on the same page with the team's hurlers -- even rookie Sonny Gray, whom Suzuki had caught in Spring Training.
"It's been pretty seamless," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It was a good pickup for us. When you bring in another catcher, there's always a transition period that you have to go through, and to bring back a guy like him, it's really not the case.
"There's a few guys here who he hasn't caught, but for the most part, he's caught most of our guys, and that's quite a luxury to have. He's fit right in and it feels like he never left."
Suzuki's addition provides relief to an A's catching core that has seen injuries to regulars Derek Norris and John Jaso. Suzuki will bat against left-handed starters, while Stephen Vogt will continue to get the nod against righties in Jaso's absence.
"To come back in the middle of a pennant race definitely is an exciting time," Suzuki said. "This is what everybody plays for. I'm just excited to be a part of it."
Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.