A’s Agree To Sign Jack Cust

The A's will re-sign Jack Cust to a one-year deal worth 2.65MM plus $350K in incentives based on plate appearances. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the agreement and Jon Heyman of SI.com and Slusser added the specifics. The A's non-tendered Cust last month, and after Cust attracted some interest from teams such as the Giants, the A's brought him back. 

Though he did play 51 games in the outfield last year, Cust has been consistently bad on defense in his career, according to UZR. But the A's aren't signing him for his defense. Cust, who turns 31 this month, has hit at least 25 homers each of the last three seasons for the A's. He has slugged .462 over the course of that three-year period, though his isolated power – the difference between his slugging and batting averages – dropped to .177 last year.

The A's, who added Jake Fox earlier in the offseason, seemed ready to move on without Cust when they non-tendered him. Cust made $2.8MM last year, so their new deal will keep him around for less guaranteed money than he was making in 2009 and, presumably, less than he would have made had the club offered arbitration. The A's will be able to retain Cust in 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player, since he won't have enough service time to file for free agency.


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50 Comments on "A’s Agree To Sign Jack Cust"


Abraham Zapruder
5 years 7 months ago

good move for the offensively challenged A’s

bharsh
5 years 7 months ago

Wheeeeew…. good to see that guy off the market!!

OlyOle
5 years 7 months ago

somewhere, Russell Branyan just said a bad, bad word.

5 years 7 months ago

I’m sort of surprised. Where does Jake Fox fit in now?

55saveslives
5 years 7 months ago

YAY says Giants fans!!!

arock1234
5 years 7 months ago

kinda surprised…..

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 7 months ago

Ah Jack Cust… third all time on the single season strikeout list

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

Totally unnecessary…

Jake Fox for a bit more than the league minimum or Jack Cust, coming off a horrible year, for $2.5M?

Maybe the A’s are hoping Fox can play third…

melonis_rex
5 years 7 months ago

Cust is MUCH better than Fox in terms of pure hitter. Of course, having them both around isn’t a bad thing, especially since the A’s have hell hitting lefties. Fox to spell Cust (or someone else) against lefties is useful in and of itself.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

Fox can not play 3rd!

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

That would be dumb? I could see fox in a package for a 3b. Kouzmanoff or Laroche

dodgers_suck
5 years 7 months ago

maybe they’ll trade jake fox to the giants for…..kevin frandsen? that would be nice.

scatterbrian
5 years 7 months ago

One more season as DH filler, but at least it’s for less than what he would have gotten in arbitration. I guess rather than finding a 3B option beyond Beltre, they’re just going with Fox and brought back Cust to DH.

aj7380
5 years 7 months ago

guess defense does matter. it just seems odd that one of the AL leaders in HR; first gets released, then takes a pay cut.

5 years 7 months ago

that leaves us with one crowded outfield i wonder what billy beans next move is gonna be but im glad to have cust back

5 years 7 months ago

Cust should never and will no longer play in the OF unless there are tons of injuries. Beane has made it clear he is going for a defensively minded team to back up the likes of Cahill, Anderson, Mazzaro, and the other rookie and 1 year vets. Sweeney, Crisp, Davis, and Hairston will man the OF this year with Buck in reserve down in AAA.

5 years 7 months ago

Might the Giants do the same with their non-tender, Garko?

5 years 7 months ago

Excellent signing, gauranteed 25+ HR/850+OPS, low base salary, lifetime 926 OPS in the hitters nightmare park of Oakland. Everything about this is good.

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

I thought you were pulling that .926 OPS out of thin air, and I must say I’m absolutely shocked to learn that Cust has a .926 OPS at the Net.

Wow…

DickAlmighty
5 years 7 months ago

Ah yes, PL loves that .926 OPS stat, but it is a bit misleading. Cust’s OPS at the Net, like the rest of his stats and peripherals, are all in decline. Home OPS in 2007 (1.047 in 255 PAs). Home OPS in 2008 (.896 in 313 PAs). Home OPS in 2009 (.846 in 287 PA’s). I can see where this train is headed. Down, down, down.

And, the bigger issue here, is that if Cust plays in the field, his defense easily gives up more runs than his bat can produce at the plate.

This isn’t a terrible signing (it’s tough for a one-year, $2.5 million deal to be labelled “terrible”), but Jack Cust doesn’t help the A’s in terms of making them more competitive AT ALL. He’s not a good baseball player, and his two skills (plate discipline and power) are in rapid decline.

5 years 7 months ago

I really hope Beane tries his damnedest to pry Kouzmanoff away from SD and signs Chapman = perfect offseason.

5 years 7 months ago

Kouz is a good target, however Headely is the one to pry from the Padres. Headely is a natural 3B who was moved to play right to fit his bat in the lineup. He’s a switch hitter and under control for another year or two more than Kouz is. (I’d be happy with either though…)

5 years 7 months ago

I honestly dont think Headley is available, to be honest. He’d probably cost way more in a trade too.

5 years 7 months ago

Great signing by Beane! Cust provides stability to the A’s who need it. You know what you’re going to get every week from him, a healthy DH who will homer, walk, single and strike out a lot.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

Hey look, another bench upgrade Hendry didnt sign!

Alldaybaseball
5 years 7 months ago

Cust is a solid signing. Who else do they expect to hit 20+ HRS. in that park?

5 years 7 months ago

Why is everyone gushing over a re-sign? If anything the move makes the fox trade seem ridiculous. You can have Cust, I like watching him strikeout in key situations. One thing Jack Cust has never been = clutch.

dbkcar18
5 years 7 months ago

I dislike Cust as much as the next guy, but the reason A’s fans were endeared to him in the first place was how clutch was was May-July of 2007. The guy was on a tear. I don’t know why they did this seeing as though they are last place with or without him and have similar players, but hopefully there are more moves in the mix.

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

If Anderson and Cahill progress, Duke is healthy and Gio Gonzalez takes the next step, watch out for the A’s. That starting rotation could be deadly.

With a decent showing from the offense, Oakland could pitch and field their way to the top of the AL West.

mccutchen22
5 years 7 months ago

While I’d love to see the A’s win the west, it’s just not possible with LAA, the Rangers and the Mariners all upgrading a LOT.

Oakland’s still a year or two out, IMO.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

Jack Cust in his Oakland career has hit .241/.378/.462/.840.

this is how that breaks down
.244/.412/.457/.869 – runners in scoring position
.240/.365/.464/.829 – no runners in scoring position

How do you figure he is isnt clutch? He has played better in situations with players in scoring position then he has otherwise!

5 years 7 months ago

He has a career 888 OPS liftime with RISP.

Whoever posted that is likely 67 years old and refuses to change with the times.

5 years 7 months ago

Hey Brian M, does a career 888 OPS with RISP not “clutch” enough for you?

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=custja01&year=Career&t=b#bases

Seriously stop telling lies based off your 1970s ideal of the game. Cust is awesome, just in a unique, new way compared with “traditional” ways of determining it.

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

I agree with you, Being an A’s fan this signing is so frustrating

DickAlmighty
5 years 7 months ago

Brian M may be wrong about Cust’s “clutchness” (for what it’s worth), but he’s not wrong that the Cust signing makes the Fox trade look a little bit dumb. The A’s now have two DH’s, both of whom are absolutely horrendous defenders at their supposed positions (Fox at 3B; Cust in the OF), on their roster.

Are we going to have a DH platoon? That’s a waste of roster space. Are we considering playing Fox or Cust in the field? If so, be prepared for a defensive debacle. If I have to watch Jack Cust bumbling around in the OF for one more inning, I’m going to go friggin’ bonkers.

Beane loves these DH/1B/OF types, but you can only fill your roster with so many two-tool players before you start resembling a team better equipped for whiffle ball than baseball…

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

A’s fans seem to be over-valuing Fox as much as Cubs fans did. He isnt that good everyone.

cayanksfan
5 years 7 months ago

Does this spell Damon back to the Yankees?

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

How does this have anything to do with Damon?

dtownmbrown
5 years 7 months ago

because don’t you know? every post on mlbtraderumors reverts back to the yankees… duh