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.


50 Responses to A’s Agree To Sign Jack Cust Leave a Reply

  1. Abraham Zapruder 6 years ago

    good move for the offensively challenged A’s

  2. bharsh 6 years ago

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

  3. OlyOle 6 years ago

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

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

  5. 55saveslives 6 years ago

    YAY says Giants fans!!!

  6. arock1234 6 years ago

    kinda surprised…..

  7. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 6 years ago

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

  8. not_brooks 6 years 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 6 years 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 6 years ago

      Fox can not play 3rd!

    • jdkladsjl 6 years ago

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

  9. dodgers_suck 6 years ago

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

  10. scatterbrian 6 years 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.

  11. aj7380 6 years 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.

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

    • 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.

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

  14. 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 6 years 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 6 years 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.

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

    • 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…)

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

  16. 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.

  17. Suzysman 6 years ago

    Hey look, another bench upgrade Hendry didnt sign!

  18. Alldaybaseball 6 years ago

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

  19. 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 6 years 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 6 years 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 6 years 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 6 years 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!

      • He has a career 888 OPS liftime with RISP.

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

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

      link to baseball-reference.com

      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 6 years ago

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

    • DickAlmighty 6 years 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 6 years ago

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

  20. cayanksfan 6 years ago

    Does this spell Damon back to the Yankees?

    • not_brooks 6 years ago

      How does this have anything to do with Damon?

      • dtownmbrown 6 years ago

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

  21. Very surprised(and pleased) that Kenny Williams didn’t jump all over this guy at that price. Yay.

  22. One thing I personally cant get enough of: people being crybabies about STRICKOUTZZZ!!!!

    I hope Cust strikes out 240 times this year and has a 1000 OPS, proving how stupid it is to act like K’s are the worst out one can make (double plays are worse, so are 1 pitch grounders or fly balls with no one on base. Get those pitch counts up so you can get to the pen faster!)

  23. jdkladsjl 6 years ago

    no! Cust makes me so mad, I would of rather had Russell Branyon! damn

  24. Msclmn1722 6 years ago

    Fox is a stud.
    2010 with a season long gig .270-35-100

  25. Suzysman 6 years ago

    With a .315 OBP and 135 K’s himself…

    Seriously, what says “stud” about Fox? The .208 ISO and 12.8 HR/FB he posted for the Cubs in a small sample size last season? You realize Cust is at 25.1% HR/FB and a .221 ISO the last three seasons, right? Cust also comes with that 18.2% BB mark where Fox is at 6.1% to match his 6.9% mark in the minor leagues.

    I mean sure, other then the fact that Fox cant field, cant get on base, is really poor at making contact, cant hit a breaking ball and provided less then league average production with the bat in his 256 PA prior to his 27th birthday… Well other then that stuff, maybe he is a stud. :/

  26. Ferrariman 6 years ago

    lets not forget that their also paying Aaron miles about 1.5MM a year to sit on the bench as part of the jake foxx trade.

  27. AkronHammer 6 years ago

    GREAT FOR THE GIANTS!!!!

  28. AkronHammer 6 years ago

    GREAT FOR THE GIANTS!!!!

  29. DickAlmighty 6 years ago

    I think the headline to this post says it all: “A’s Agree to Sign Jack Cust.” Not “A’s sign Jack Cust.” “A’s Agree to Sign Jack Cust.” It’s like Jack Cust just kept hanging around the A’s parking lot, and Beane felt sorry for him…

    My prediction on Cust this season: 400 ABs. 19 HR. 60 RBI. 220/350/420. 770 OPS. If he gets no time in the OF, this is a decent, if uninspired, signing ($2.5m, plus the opportunity cost of a double-DH roster spot, for that production isn’t horrible).

    • dannybonnaduche 6 years ago

      my prediction for Cust is to have the most homeruns on Oakland yet again. prob something like 30!!!!

  30. DickAlmighty 6 years ago

    “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.”

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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