Jack Cust Clears Waivers

SATURDAY, 11:05am: Cust has accepted his outright assignment to the minors according to the team. Smart move, I'm not sure he would have been able to find another $2.65MM on the free agent market.

12:19pm: Slusser countertweets that Cust's camp says a decision has not been made and it may take a few more days.  She explains in an article that Cust is likely to accept the assignment, as he won't receive his $2.65MM if he doesn't.

FRIDAY, 10:42am: Cust has accepted the assignment to Triple A, reports CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban.

THURSDAY, 10:25pm: Cust cleared waivers, tweets Slusser, but it's not yet known whether he'll accept an assignment to Triple A.

SATURDAY, 7:11pm: The Athletics have designated Jack Cust for assignment, according to Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). Slusser mentions that if he clears waivers, he would consider a minor league assignment to remain with the team.

Oakland non-tendered Cust back in December, then re-signed him to a one year, $2.65MM deal in January. The 31-year-old has seen his performance decline each year since his 2007 breakout campaign, bottoming out at .240/.356/.417 with 25 homers last year. He's led the American League in strikeouts each of the last three seasons, though the power and on-base numbers have continued to decline, and he's never had any defensive value.

With both Travis Buck and Jake Fox making the team, there was just no room for Cust and his limited skill set. Any team that were to claim him off waivers would assume the full $2.65MM on his deal, but would still have another year of team control.


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87 Comments on "Jack Cust Clears Waivers"


AZalltheway
5 years 4 months ago

Wonder what team He will end up with.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

He may accept a minor league assignment but I’ll tell you something.

Tyson Ross is a really good pitcher. He’s going to have a great season with the A’s!

5 years 4 months ago

Can he play LF or he is a full time DH?

EdinsonPickle
5 years 4 months ago

He’s pretty atrocious in LF so it is wise for whoever picks him up to use him as a DH. I don’t see an NL teams getting in on this. Maybe the Mariners and Yanks offer him a minor league deal. I can’t see anyone giving a major league deal though.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

I’m going to say that he could be the Cardinals answer for that lefty off the bench they’ve been searching for. Plus, they have a pretty weak bench as it is.

loganwayne
5 years 4 months ago

The Cardinals have no use for a pure pinch hitter. Actually they have one of the best bench’s in the league. Felipe Lopez, Joe Mather, Allen Craig, & Nick Stavinoha are all great role players. Lopez and Craig could be starters on a lot of MLB teams.

damnitsderek
5 years 4 months ago

FYI Lopez is starting now that Lugo has been traded, if I remember correctly.

MarkStl
5 years 4 months ago

No Lopez is on the bench. Freese is at 3rd, Ryan is at SS, and Schumaker is at 2nd. Lopez might find himself filling in for someone almost everyday but he is coming off the bench.

MarkStl
5 years 4 months ago

No Lopez is on the bench. Freese is at 3rd, Ryan is at SS, and Schumaker is at 2nd. Lopez might find himself filling in for someone almost everyday but he is coming off the bench.

sign2010
5 years 4 months ago

The A’s gave him $2.65MM? Why?

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

I guess it was just kind of like a really expensive gamble. Until Chris Carter and Michael Taylor are ready, The A’s just need players whjo can get on base. Jack Cust really can’t do that. He’s like a poor man’s Adam Dunn.

Jason_F
5 years 4 months ago

All of the projection systems have him in the range of .367-.385 OBP and his career average is .374. Getting on base isn’t his problem. His SLG % just dipped so low last year that he doesn’t possess the extra base potential to make up for his many shortcomings (terrible AVG, zero value in the field, strikes out a ton, slow as molasses, etc.).

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

I agree. Good Point.

eeeooo
5 years 4 months ago

He’s not as slow as he looks, he needs to hit more like 2008 and less like 2009 to be valuable as a DH.

Jason_F
5 years 4 months ago

He is as slow as he looks. His fangraphs speed score for his career grades out worse than the likes of speedburners such as David Ortiz, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Garret Anderson and AJ Pierzynski. However, he does come out slightly ahead of the light-footed Steve Balboni.

5 years 4 months ago

He’s slow but a smart runner, he takes a base when he can and doesnt get thrown out too often.

LowcountryJoe
5 years 4 months ago

That’ll come in handy for the River Cats squad.

5 years 4 months ago

Thank god. Signing him in the first place was kind of dumb with Fox around and Carter coming soon. Now after Barton’s excellent spring (.516 OBP, .302 avg, 19 BBs to 6 SOs in Arizona), Carter’s place in short term (May->end of year) looks like DH…so Cust was just an obstruction. An inferior, declining one, at that.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, I think whenever Chris Carter comes up, he will change the complexity of this lineup a great deal. He will kind of change it the way Ryan Howard changed the Phillies lineup.

I can’t think of a better future 3-4 combo of Michael Taylor and Chris Carter.

BentoBox
5 years 4 months ago

Montero/A-Rod.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

No, I’m saying two players in the future.

5 years 4 months ago

Montero/A-Rod will be in the future, A-Rods got at least 8-10 years left. The odds of Carter+Taylor each having 10+ year careers is extremely low right this second. Id go with the known quantity every time (even though i am an A’s fan and hope to hell Carter&Taylor are awesome). Pujols/Holliday is also a better 3-4 for the next 8 years. But if what youre saying is that 2 players who havent seen a big league pitch yet who will hit 3-4 in the coming years on any team you might be right. But theres only a handful of teams who dont have a 3-4 set for the next 5 years, so its not really a big deal.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

No dude. I meant players who haven’t played yet.

BentoBox
5 years 4 months ago

Mike Stanton/Logan Morrison ?

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

You got me. But I think you have them out of order.

damnitsderek
5 years 4 months ago

Jason Heyward/Freddie Freeman?

Jason_F
5 years 4 months ago

Then why wouldn’t you just say Texiera/A-Rod? You’re contradicting your own point…

mariov44
5 years 4 months ago

Holliday and Pujols. They’ll be around around for a while longer, right?

bbxxj
5 years 4 months ago

How about Heyward/Freeman?

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

How about Heyward and Heyward? I wish.

Freddie Freeman really needs to show that he has more power.

Jason Heyward/Cody Johnson?

By the way bbxxj, what do you think about Craig Kimbrel? He looks like he’s really going to be a great pitcher.

bbxxj
5 years 4 months ago

Freeman will likely never have 40-50 HR power but he has the natural strenght and swing to hit a solid 30 consistantly. He was hurt last year and that sapped much of his power and the fact that he is still super young and growing.

Kimbrel is really exciting. He struck out 103 batters in 60.0 IP for a mindboggling 15.4 K/9 last year from rising from A to A+ to AA to AAA. So its not like he was dominating on level he was too good for as he kept killing it as he rose the levels. He did walk 45 guys in those 60 IP but allowed only 30 hits for a still low 1.25 WHIP.

This spring the buzz around camp is that he was altering his mechanics to cut down on his walks. If he does that he has the potential to be an elite closer in the mold of a right handed Billy Wagner.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

And in his pro career he has 155 strikeouts in 95.0 innings. We should definetly be able to see him at Turner Field this season.

bbxxj
5 years 4 months ago

While I agree that he should be up sometime this year I would really like to see him get at least 2/3 of a season against more polished upper level hitters in AAA that will make him refine his control. He has a legit chance to be an incredible player and the Braves have such a deep pen that there is absolutely no reason to rush a special talent like Kimbrel.

In 9 IP this spring he struck out 14 with only 3 hits and no earned runs. He did walk 8 batters an that needs to be fixed before he can really be an elite talent, hince the extra AAA time.

patthat
5 years 4 months ago

To bbxxj the real talent now a days is in AA as opposed to AAA. Come on man look at Jeff Samardzija a couple years ago. Mediocre in AA gets bumped up to AAA and tears up AAA. Triple AAA is not necessarily better in any sense

patthat
5 years 4 months ago

To bbxxj the real talent now a days is in AA as opposed to AAA. Come on man look at Jeff Samardzija a couple years ago. Mediocre in AA gets bumped up to AAA and tears up AAA. Triple AAA is not necessarily better in any sense

damnitsderek
5 years 4 months ago

Damn it, didn’t even see this before I posted.

bigleaguechoo
5 years 4 months ago

Heyward/Freeman seems like a better combo, and they are younger also.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

METS.SIGN.NOW.

BIGPELF
5 years 4 months ago

agree with you

they should try him in first base or pinch hit

5 years 4 months ago

Anyone see a Pat Burrell for Cust trade happening? Seen that one doing the rounds. The A’s could use a SP/swingman pretty bad though. Wonder if he will be claimed, how many DH spots are open?

5 years 4 months ago

I’m actually pretty shocked. Even though it would have been an “unpopular” move, Eric Chavez is actually the real weakest link on the roster. Despite his career, Chavez cannot play 3B anymore, so it’s not as if he has more position flexibility than Cust. As for hitting skills, Chavez has not been an average major league hitter since 2006, so Cust’s high OB/big power are certainly more favorable.

I agree that it was dumb of the A’s to re-sign Cust, but that doesn’t mean he should have been the fall man in this situation. In terms of getting the most production out of a DH, Cust was the man–not Chavez. Poor move by Mr. Beane.

5 years 4 months ago

I also think the Royals or White Sox could insert him as their DH.

Cust > Jose Guillen or Andruw Jones/Mark Kotsay

5 years 4 months ago

But playing Cust over Guillen is like playing Cust over Chavez.

5 years 4 months ago

I don’t follow your logic.

5 years 4 months ago

The reason why Cust was cut was because an inferior player (Chavez) makes $10MM more than him. Guillen also makes $10MM more than Cust.

5 years 4 months ago

I dont think it was a baseball decision, no matter how many of the bizarre “He had a poor ST” comments by Beane are made. It has 100% to do with the A’s releasing a guy making $12MM vs a guy making $2.65MM. Why they even signed him in the first place seems particularly ludicrous right now. Why do they think Chavez can play everyday? He cant, and wont. Im guessing here, but I think they will just cross their fingers and hopes Chavez can make it to June, so then Taylor or Carter can just move into the LF/DH roles now occupied by Buck, Chavez and Fox.

5 years 4 months ago

Also why would they release Cust over Gabe Gross if Travis Buck is making the team. Maybe the dumbest move of the offseason comes pretty much on the last day. Beane, lay off the pipe dude.

5 years 4 months ago

I agree. Gabe Gross should have gotten the red slip over Cust.

sacu
5 years 4 months ago

As an A’s fan, I haaaaaaaaaate this move. We’re already on the hook for his salary, unless someone claims him. We aren’t going anywhere this year. He has power that no one else on the team has. I’d take him over Jake Fox any day of the week. I just think Billy was too proud to release Fox, since he just traded for him in the offseason.

Someone please fire Billy and Geren and hire Larussa to be our GM and Rickey to be our Manager. Of course, Billy would have to fire himself, since he is part owner.

kab421
5 years 4 months ago

Let me know when Cust can play catcher because Fox took Powell’s roster spot.

Dermick
5 years 4 months ago

Good luck getting LaRussa away from the Cardinals and why would he want to stop managing?

damnitsderek
5 years 4 months ago

Cust was a sunk cost. While Fox did not take his roster spot, there’s a high chance that Oakland will get an equal amount of production from Fox/Patterson as they would from Cust.

Dermick
5 years 4 months ago

I think I would take him over Nick Stavinoha

5 years 4 months ago

well if we arent going any where why not give chavez his last opportunity to prove he can play? if the season gets too out of hand carter and taylor will be up quickly. might as well see what fox can do as well, as trading for him just to release him would be kind of silly…

5 years 4 months ago

Or let Cust play, and actually be competitive. Isn’t that the goal? It’s not as if we’re talking about the A’s trading for a slugger–they cut their best one!

5 years 4 months ago

Or let Cust play, and actually be competitive. Isn’t that the goal? It’s not as if we’re talking about the A’s trading for a slugger–they cut their best one!

bwp2001
5 years 4 months ago

I think the Mariners might be wise to try and land him for a minor league contract. His contract is reasonable, and the M’s still have a few mill to work with, so they could assume most of it if not all of it, and they are in desperate need for any kind of power. I don’t think relying on Griffey and Jose Lopez and Milton Bradley for offensive bang is enough. If Cust even just reproduced his numbers from last year with a slightly better average, he’d still be a bonus for the M’s. But a major league contract might be pushing it.

damnitsderek
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, but Seattle needs pitching NOW if they have any intention of keeping up with Texas and Los Angeles, especially with Lee’s abdominal problem. If Seattle can reel in Cust on a low-cost minor league deal though and still afford a decent starting pitcher, I’m all for it. Cust at DH is far more appealing than Griffey/Sweeney (and I still can’t believe that they chose to keep Sweeney over Garko).

Redhawk
5 years 4 months ago

I wish some one would pay me $2,650,00 to NOT work for them.

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

Cust over the past few years has been a player of intrigue, I hope he can avoid the minors unless he wants to try to hang in for Oakland. He can make a major league roster right now as is playing DH, he should wait from someone to get hurt or go to the NL and be and impact off the bench player

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

he took the triple-a assingment? ouch. i thought he would take a walk and try to make a major league club with another team. i dont fully understand this move unless he has been promised a bump back to the show when chavez eventually hurts himself slipping on a banana peel

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

he took the triple-a assingment? ouch. i thought he would take a walk and try to make a major league club with another team. i dont fully understand this move unless he has been promised a bump back to the show when chavez eventually hurts himself slipping on a banana peel

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

Eric is known for the glove and hes not even going to be using it, seems stupid to let him DH when you clearly have a better option that your sending down. Silly move, although anybody can tell the team is trying to justify the hefty sum, of wasted, money Eric is making

5 years 4 months ago

He WAS known for the glove. He cannot play the field anymore.

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

i know thats my point. i guess since Chavez, when healthy, is better then Cust on offense that they made the move, but i doubt Eric goes the whole season without hitting the DL atleast once, even at a laborless position

5 years 4 months ago

The last time Chavez had an average “Jack Cust” season (at least 25 HR/.360 OB) was back in 2004. “Eric Chavez” and “when healthy” should never be in the same sentence because he never is.

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

true that, i would go with cust

5 years 4 months ago

The last time Chavez had an average “Jack Cust” season (at least 25 HR/.360 OB) was back in 2004. “Eric Chavez” and “when healthy” should never be in the same sentence because he never is.

litto
5 years 4 months ago

Eric is also known for two bad shoulders and a high power swing. He hurts himself trying for RBIs or the team offers him early retirement because of his lame outs/walks.
Eric is leaving, it is just a mater of when.

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

Cust over the past few years has been a player of intrigue, I hope he can avoid the minors unless he wants to try to hang in for Oakland. He can make a major league roster right now as is playing DH, he should wait from someone to get hurt or go to the NL and be and impact off the bench player

5 years 4 months ago

Cust should just went to F/A and have the Rays pick him up cause I heard Burrell sucks

5 years 4 months ago

A Cust/Burrell platoon would also work.

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

If Im Beane, and Cust does take the assignment now that it looks conflicting that he has, i would try to trade him while still in the organization, some teams will give up something a not to bad of value for a lock on 25 home runs

leeburd
5 years 4 months ago

I think Jack Cust could help somebody. People cant seem to get over his high strikeouts (so did Mantle and Ruth) but he also has a very high on base percentage. He led the American League in walks two years ago. And he led the A’s in runs scored last season. 14 more than the next highest. The article says he bottomed out and then shows a very high on base percentage and slugging percentage. All those homers will sound good when the A’s start losing close games. And I don’t he’s that bad in the field.

melonis_rex
5 years 4 months ago

Where the hell was Kenny Williams?

5 years 4 months ago

Who cares? Look at their WAR over the last 3 years:
Cust: 6.3
Gross: 4.4

Any team that played Cust instead of gross would have won about 2 more games over the last few years. His defense isnt as good as Custs bat.

alxn
5 years 4 months ago

Neither was/is going to be playing every day, so that point is moot.

5 years 4 months ago

Exactly. Well said.

5 years 4 months ago

Actually, up until yesterday’s shocker, Cust was going to be the starting DH.

alxn
5 years 4 months ago

That may have been the perception of fans and the media, but today’s move obviously proves that they didn’t have plans of starting him.

5 years 4 months ago

It’s more than a perception–he’s led the A’s in HR the past 3 seasons. Who is going to hit HR for the A’s this season? It’s not as if they lost their slugger to a major injury–they cut him!

Considering how shocked Cust and Chavez were upon the announcement, it appears the decision was a pretty fresh one. It comes down to Beane being friends with Chavez and hoping that another hitting-deprived team will feel compelled to take on Cust’s pretty reasonable contract.

The A’s will be lucky if Chavez hits 50% of the HR Cust would have provided, and can at least post a .300 OB. What a dreadful player he is now.

alxn
5 years 4 months ago

I’m not trying to argue whether this is a good decision or not. Thinking that Beane just woke up and decided to do this is extremely wistful thinking.

5 years 4 months ago

It’s not about being friends. Chavez makes 10 million+ this season. That’s the only reason they’re giving him one last chance.

I agree that Chavez is pure crap now. He should’ve worked on a buyout & retired.

5 years 4 months ago

In Slusser’s article, she mentions how Chavez was completely surprised that he had been named DH–especially at the cost of Cust. Essentially, Beane didn’t want to assume the cost of Chavez, cut Jake Fox, and for some reason, wanted both Gabe Gross and Travis Buck on the roster.

5 years 4 months ago

Whether Chavez gets cut or doesn’t, he still earns that money. My point is that it shouldn’t matter–they should field the best player. Considering Chavez has no bat or glove, he should arguably just retire.

5 years 4 months ago

15 minutes of fame? Three straight years of leading your team in HR is hardly a one-year wonder.

5 years 4 months ago

If you insist, go ahead.