Non-Tender Candidate: Jack Cust

Jack Cust isn’t the home run threat he once was, so even in an offseason when the A's are prioritizing power, he doesn’t have any assurances that an offer of arbitration will come his way. The A’s non-tendered him last winter after a third consecutive season of 25-plus home runs. This year, his power dropped off, so there’s a real possibility that GM Billy Beane non-tenders Cust once again.

Cust, 32 in January, hit just 13 homers this year, but still managed to reach base. He posted a robust .395 on base average and batted .272. That figure is deceptive, though; Cust’s career-high average was inflated by his unsustainable .387 average on balls in play.

Cust is a power hitter who no longer hits for power and he doesn’t have much to fall back on other than his walks. He strikes out too much, doesn’t inspire confidence on defense (he played just 16 games in the outfield this year) and is working off of a $2.65MM base salary. 

Offering Cust arbitration could cost $3-4MM, but it seems more likely that the A’s will non-tender him and try to renegotiate a contract worth less guaranteed money if they have interest in keeping him. The A’s would risk losing Cust to another team if they non-tender him, but they saved money when they took that chance a year ago. 

Conor Jackson and Kevin Kouzmanoff are also among Oakland's non-tender candidates, but we've already voted on them. It's time to see what you think the A's will do with Cust. Click here to vote and here to view the results.


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23 Comments on "Non-Tender Candidate: Jack Cust"


4 years 10 months ago

Let’s not call him a candidate, let’s just consider him non-tendered. Did he even make the roster out of Spring Training last year. I say Conor Jacksons got a better shot at sticking around.

melonis_rex
4 years 10 months ago

Him not making the roster out of ST was one of the dumbest decisions in baseball.

There’s no Zombie Eric Chavez in 2011 to take the roster spot from him— and the A’s don’t have a DH. He’ll be back.

$1529282
4 years 10 months ago

Always thought the White Sox should’ve picked him up to DH last season… still think he’d be a good DH in a hitter-friendly park. It doesn’t seem fair to write off his power drop after just one season, and he should still be good for 15-20 HR and a .380+ OBP, even if he continues to produce at the level he did this season. All things considered, that’s not bad for a $3MM-$4MM investment in your DH.

Hell, Chicago paid that much for one month of Manny. I’ll take the full season of Cust.

4 years 10 months ago

Ive often thought Cust would be a decent fit for the Sox. His OBP is certainly decent. If they could pick him up for 2 million with a team option for 2012, Id be all for it. The only way he wouldnt be a good fit is if KW finds a good right fielder and then makes Quentin the “full time” DH..then there wouldnt be many AB’s for Cust

Otis26
4 years 10 months ago

He’ll be a Royal next year with a 2 year, $7 million contract.

We’re going to be signing guys like this for another couple of years until our talent emerges from the minors.

$1529282
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t see the reasoning behind giving Cust two years. He’ll sign for one. Also no reason to not let Butler and Ka’ahuie split the DH/1B duties. Kila’s been waiting long enough; he deserves a real chance to hit at the MLB level.

Otis26
4 years 10 months ago

Sorry Sir but KK wouldn’t even make my AAAA All Star team. He had a chance this year at MLB level – 180 AB – .217 average, .307 OBP, .394 SLG. He’s a stiff.

4 years 10 months ago

2 year, $7 million contract?

First of all, no way is he getting a 2-year deal. Not nearly enough competition for an average DH coming off a bad year. Second of all, no way are the Royals going to be paying him close to that.

He’ll be lucky to get a 1/yr, $2 million or $1.5 with incentives.

not_brooks
4 years 10 months ago

Have you heard of Dayton Moore?

Gil Meche: 5 years, $55M

Jose Guillen: 3 years, $36M

Kyle Farnsworth: 2 years, $9.25M

Jason Kendall: 2 years, $6M

Rick Ankiel: 1 year, $3.25M

Do you really think 2 years, $7M for Cust is that far from the realm of possibility for the worst GM in the game?

Otis26
4 years 10 months ago

Was going to post the same thing Xub. Thanks for the backup. You left our Yasahiko Yabuta – 2 years $6 million.

$1526717
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t see them going after Cust though. He has the same skillset as Kila Kaaihue. They’d much rather go after a Jeff Franceour.

safari_punch
4 years 10 months ago

Make him a Yankee!

$1526717
4 years 10 months ago

He’s likely getting a minor league contract, probably from a team like Seattle.

$1529282
4 years 10 months ago

That .400 OBP will earn him more than a minor league deal. Cust will help a team considerably at designated hitter… I’d wager he ends up being one of the better bargains on the free agent market. Seattle’s not a bad fit for him, though they’re probably better off just letting Bradley DH in hopes to keep him healthy and at least semi-productive.

Chicago and Baltimore seem like really good fits… and he’d be a nice low-budget option in Tampa for their DH spot as well. They’ve got plenty of speed, he’d be a nice source of OBP and power to go along with it.

jphenix2002
4 years 10 months ago

In addition to Chicago and Seattle, I can even see the Twins taking a chance if something crazy happens between them and Thome.

4 years 10 months ago

Cust is an interesting player, as noted he does strikeout and walk a lot, but put him in a ballpark like Yankee Stadium and his 15 homers probably turn into 25-30. He seems like the perfect buy low DH type player.

$1529282
4 years 10 months ago

He also didn’t get anywhere near a full season’s worth of at-bats. In a hitters’ park he could have a massive rebound season. He’s a poor man’s Adam Dunn basically. And unlike Dunn, he accepts his defensive shortcomings and is fine with DHing.

corey23
4 years 10 months ago

On a team like the yankees he’d have some protection as well…. on the A’s (as an A’s fan it hurts me to say) he had no protection whatsoever

4 years 10 months ago

I’ve always just assumed that the reason for Jack’s steadily declining ISO is the fact that he’s been the only “power” threat on the team for some time. Why not pitch around him and worse case scenario, let him clog up the bases with a walk. Its not like he’s going to go from 1st to 3rd on a single by the next hitter. Fangraphs has Eric DFA’ed Pattereson as the Athletic with the highest ISO (.204) for 2010.

melonis_rex
4 years 10 months ago

The A’s have no reason to non-tender him. He was the A’s best hitter last year, hands down. An OBP pushing .400 is still really valuable, especially at the 3-4MM price tag.

$1529282
4 years 10 months ago

They did it when he was coming off a better season than this one. Whether or not they should, they apparently don’t value him too highly. I’m with you though, I’ll take a .400ish OBP for $3-$4MM every day

4 years 10 months ago

No, you are flat out wrong. Not even an argument here.

2009:
.342 wOBA
112 wRC+
.773 OPS
1.0 WAR

2010:
.371 wOBA
138 wRC+
.834 OPS
2.4 WAR

All stats were better in 2010

4 years 10 months ago

Cust’s power numbers were lower because Geren was forced to start a “healthy” Chavez the first half of the year. A’s should retain him, it’s not as if they have any better options.