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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MLB: Astros reach one-year deal with Cust

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Jack Cust, who has hit 105 home runs in a 10-year Major League career that has spanned six teams, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Astros that includes an option for 2013, according to a baseball source.

The deal is pending a physical and could be announced as soon as Wednesday. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow declined to comment.

Cust, 33, appeared in 67 games before being cut loose last July by the Mariners, for whom he batted .213 with three homers and 23 RBIs. He spent the previous four seasons with the Oakland A’s, hitting 97 homers and driving in 281 runs in that span. He’s played primarily left field, right field and designated hitter in his career.

The addition of Cust likely puts him in the mix to start in right field in an increasingly crowded group that includes Brian Bogusevic, Jason Bourgeois, J.B. Shuck and Fernando Martinez, the former top prospect of the Mets who was claimed off waivers last week.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:57 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, business

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:55 AM (#4039159)
What the Cust!
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:59 AM (#4039162)
according to a baseball source
As opposed to a random guy on the street?
   3. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:13 AM (#4039165)
I'd have figured Cust would get a minor league deal if anything.
It is a major league deal right? I'd think it would be weird to have an option on a minor league one.
   4. bookbook Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4039175)
In a league with no DH, no less!
   5. flournoy Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4039179)
It is a major league deal right?


No, it's with the Astros.
   6. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4039192)
In a league with no DH, no less!


Only for the first year of the deal...
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4039198)
The final piece!
   8. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4039226)
Ah Jack Cust, and the halcyon days of A's game chatter when I would shout, "THE POWER OF CUST COMPELS YOU!" whenever he hit a home run.
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4039241)
...because if there's one thing the Astros don't already have, it's a slugging left fielder on the downside of his career who can't get out of his own way on defense.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4039247)
...because if there's one thing the Astros don't already have, it's a slugging left fielder on the downside of his career who can't get out of his own way on defense.

This just sets up the long awaited Carlos Lee for AJ Burnett and $$$ deal.
   11. TerpNats Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4039262)
Getting their 2013 DH ahead of schedule.
   12. Tricky Dick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4039288)
This signing does give optimistic fans hope that maybe a buyer for Carlos Lee has been found. Hey, Detroit, we have your replacement for Victor Martinez.

But, probably no. I figure that this is a roll of the dice at (presumably) a low salary to see if Cust has anything left. Rotographs had an article with this comment which is probably as good an explanation as anything:

What’s likely happening is the Astros are paying him something near league minimum in terms of salary, looking to catch lightning in a bottle in order to have a club controlled DH headed into their big move to the American League at a fraction of the price. For a team with little to play for in 2012, that probably makes some sense.
   13. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4039292)
a 1 year deal with an OPTION?

as for LF who can't field, Clank is either gonna play 1B or play for some other team. JD martinez is OK out there and he looks like barry lamar in his prime compared to cust

bogusevic and shuck are both leftys, so i guess this means one or both will either be back at AAA, traded of DFAd. knowing THIS team, rotting at AAA is the most likely

   14. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4039295)
he couldn't hit in 2011 - why think he can hit in the same AL west in 2013?

sigh

astros like to pick up crappy vets AFTER they are finished then keep em an extra year.

or 2
   15. -- Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4039300)
...because if there's one thing the Astros don't already have, it's a slugging left fielder on the downside of his career who can't get out of his own way on defense.

C. Lee led the NL in defensive WAR last year. The 'Stros can only hope to get such production from The Cust.
   16. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4039305)
Jason Bourgeois


I read that as Jason Dubois. Come to think of it, Jason Dubois would probably be an improvement.
   17. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4039308)
seriously - if clank is leading ANYTHING in defensive WAR, it is time to revise the way that stat is calculated.

sorry to sound like a jeter-ite, but i have watched the guy every day since we signed him and he has never been even league average. he had a beyond horrible 2010, but last year was back up/down to his 08/09 suckage level

he has a limp, inaccurate arm, almost always lets fly balls drop, NEVER chases balls to his right, and every 20 or so plays, somehow manages to catch up to a ball near the LF bullpen that michael bourn would have gotten

and at 1B, he's no albert pujols with the glove. he's better than mo vaughn, but that is not saying much
   18. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4039310)
Jack Cust, who has hit 105 home runs in a 10-year Major League career...


...which is 10 per year on average. Which is better than nothing, but isn't anything special, no matter what the connotation the writer's trying to give it.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4039311)
As opposed to a random guy on the street?


So... not Murray Chass, then?
   20. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4039314)
jason dubois is not better than jason bourgeois. i think he COULD have been, but as usual, the c*bs let him rot
   21. flournoy Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4039317)
...which is 10 per year on average. Which is better than nothing, but isn't anything special, no matter what the connotation the writer's trying to give it.


Considering that the first five years combined for five homers in only 169 plate appearances, it's not really as bad as all that.
   22. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4039415)
I'll probably always root for Jack Cust.
In early 2007 - having already experienced the awesomeness of Scutaro v. Rivera at my first game with Amazing GF - said GF surprised me with Warriors playoff tickets during their startling run that year. We got to the Coliseum a little early to meet friends, and were just passing the ballpark when Cust hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the 9th - his fifth in four games. He was never that good again (after a week with the A's he was on a pace to hit 139 homers in a season) but he was always fun to watch, doofy expressions and all. Here's hoping he tears up the NL, or at least makes Player of the Week somewhere in there.
   23. Tricky Dick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4039420)
sorry to sound like a jeter-ite, but i have watched the guy every day since we signed him and he has never been even league average. he had a beyond horrible 2010, but last year was back up/down to his 08/09 suckage level


I have to disagree, bbc. I watched a lot of Carlos Lee's games last year, I thought he was above average defensively in both LF and 1st base. He played the best LF in 2011 I can recall him playing as an Astros LFer. He lost some weight and made a noticeable effort to hustle more. He had the third highest assists from LF in the majors, even though he split time between 1st and LF.
   24. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: January 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4039428)
JACK Cust?

Heh. Hehheh. Hee. Hahahee. Hahahahaheeheeheeheheh(snort)heehaaho.

No, seriously. It hurts when I do that. Stop linking to this kind of thing.
   25. thetailor (Brian) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4039450)
an increasingly crowded group that includes Brian Bogusevic, Jason Bourgeois, J.B. Shuck and Fernando Martinez
What a money quote this is. Why stop there, why not mention all the other human beings who would possibly stand out there in right field looking confused? I'm available!
   26. Tricky Dick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4039527)
What a money quote this is.


Some of those guys in RF are worth looking at. Bogusevic had 2.4 WAR in 182 PA for the Astros last year, and Bourgeois had 1.2 WAR in 252 PA. In theory, they could form a reasonable platoon in RF. I doubt that Cust sees more than occasional time in RF.
   27. -- Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4039538)
Cust would certainly be on the all-Beer League team. His inability to navigate the 90 feet between third and home in 2003 without involuntarily splaying akimbo, depriving the Orioles of the tying run, bookends nicely with Jeremy Giambi's failure to slide in the ALDS as the quintessential plays of the Beer League Era.
   28. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4039579)
Cust was essentially booed out of Oakland for his passivity i.e. for striking out looking with men on base so often. The fans were really down on him his last season in Oakland. I remember one little old lady who called into A's Talk after a game, and said: "I don't care what his OPS is! He's dragging down the offense!" Then last year in Seattle he looked done at the plate. Cust also has spectacularly bad hands in the outfield. I have never seen a player drop routine fly balls like he does. I mean, he drops them routinely! It is unclear to me why an NL team would sign him...
   29. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4039580)
tricky

i do agree that for the first time i can ever remember watching carlos lee - including his time with the rangers and crew, he actually TRIED to field well. i gave him that because at first i thought i was imagining it, but he wasn't like - whatever - since he had been.

but it didn't make him GOOD. he had a lot more assists than usual - not because his arm was better or more accurate, but because he used to not usually bother to even TRY to get anyone out.

i give him an A for effort, but he still was not a good fielding LF - we're just comparing him to his old el perezoso self.

and completely disagree that he was better than average at first.

now we DO agree about bogusevic and bourgeois and i really REALLY hope that cust is not going to be taking up their PT
   30. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4039593)
...which is 10 per year on average. Which is better than nothing, but isn't anything special, no matter what the connotation the writer's trying to give it.


It's a little more special than that, considering he has had "seasons" of 1, 2, 3, 65, and 73 AB's. His power disappeared last year, but in the 4 previous seasons, he hit 97 of his 105 career HR's. Saying he averages a mere 10 HR/year is more than a bit deceiving.
   31. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4039619)
My favourite Jack Cust moment was when I repeatedly referred to historian Richard Cust as "Jack Cust" in my BA Honours oral defence. For some reason no one called me on it, but I must have done it at least 4 times before I noticed.
   32. JPWF1313 Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4039627)
I'll probably always root for Jack Cust.
In early 2007 - having already experienced the awesomeness of Scutaro v. Rivera at my first game with Amazing GF - said GF surprised me with Warriors playoff tickets during their startling run that year. We got to the Coliseum a little early to meet friends, and were just passing the ballpark when Cust hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the 9th - his fifth in four games.


My favorite Cust moment was a game he had with the Orioles playing against the Yankees, probably 2003, he literally fell down twice, once running the bases (which cost them at least a run and screwed up the inning), and once while trying to play defense...
He'd been hyped as a prospect, especially among stathead types, but man did he look brutal, my thought was that he was a poor man's version of Dave Kingman

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