Astros Sign Jack Cust

WEDNESDAY, 11:17am: The Astros announced the non-guaranteed Major League deal, which is worth $600K.  They still need to clear a 40-man roster spot for Cust.

TUESDAY, 9:30pm: The Astros have agreed to sign Jack Cust, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. It's a one-year deal with a club option for 2013, Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle tweets. TWC Sports represents the corner outfielder/DH.

Cust, 33, averaged 28 homers and 103 walks with the A's from 2007-09, but his power numbers have since fallen off. If he regains his form in Houston, he could DH for the Astros in 2013, when the team moves to the American League West. Cust, who has a career UZR/150 of -22.4 as an outfielder, figures to pinch hit and play left and right in 2012.

Cust posted a .213/.344/.329 line with three home runs in 270 plate appearances for the Mariners in 2011, when he earned $2.5MM. The Mariners released him in August and the Phillies signed him soon afterwards. There was no reported interest in Cust earlier in the offseason.

98 Responses to Astros Sign Jack Cust Leave a Reply

  1. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    He got DFA’ed during the season and released, yet he gets a 2-year deal… I thought Ed Wade wasn’t the Astro’s GM anymore.

  2. Alex 4 years ago

    A very “meh” signing. Didn’t deserve two years.

  3. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    How in the world did he manage a 2 year deal…?

  4. Guest 4 years ago

    Two years?  Really?  Didn’t he get released last year?

  5.   A guy who can’t catch the ball?  Houston doesn’t go to the AL till 2013 so why do they need a DH?

  6. did ed wade get hired back?

  7. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Solid signing.

  8. Jon Melton 4 years ago

    Instant Contenders

  9. Guest 4 years ago

    2 years??

  10. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    I hate disqus. Hate it, hate it, hate it!

  11. OaklandFan22 4 years ago

    hahahahha jack cust whatta joke

    • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

      Easy there. Cust was a pretty darn good hitter for you foolios.

  12. Their GM is weird, he traded half team to the Phillies and didn´t get Domonic Brown, now he´s signing Jack Cust!! I like Jack Cust, great guy, but he can´t hit, he can´t field, lots of K´s, he won´t hit in the AL WEST, hope it´s a 2 million deal for two years, but it´s still awful!

    I´m a M´s fan and I saw him last year, he was terrible…

  13. Kevin Charity 4 years ago

    Why, why, a thousand times, why???

  14. Os84 4 years ago

    I’m sorry, but how in the hell did Jack Cust get a 2-year deal? 

  15. TartanElk 4 years ago

    Yeah, sure. Why not?

  16. $20404099 4 years ago

    The Astros showing their baseball knowledge off.

    • jedicouncil 4 years ago

      tomorrow they will sign Mike Pagliarrulo to man the hot corner…..sweet moves, very shrewd signings

  17. I’m confused. Dont’ we already Lee (one more year, finally), Shuck, Bourgeois, Schafer, Bogusevic, and Martinez? Why would we want to see Jack Cust loafing around out there?

  18. baseballa11 4 years ago

    Cust power bat could have a break out year…DH in 2013 giving him value to trade for a prospect idk only thing i can think of

    • Hal Jordan 4 years ago

      If he has a good first half, they may trade him at this year’s trade deadline. 

  19. Shawnthemon 4 years ago

    Houston’s plan at another #1 pick 

  20. Lastings 4 years ago

    This is how teams deal in the Bizarro World…

  21. verybiasflfan 4 years ago

    making a strong push for that #1 draft pick

  22. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Can they be worse?

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      Yes, they could be the 2003 Tigers.

      • John McFadin 4 years ago

        I didn’t really follow the AL Central at that time.  Just what in the world made them that bad?  (2003 Tigers, I mean)

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          mike maroth?

          once i was doing some research and discovered something i’ll never forget: the 2003 tigers had a total team WAR of -0.6

          their total team pitching WAR pushed them ever so slightly into the black at 3.2 wins above replacement for ~25 MLB players in 162 games

          carlos pena and brandon inge were both on that team. so were fernando rodney, omar infante, andres torres, and cody ross. none of them are willing to talk about it

        • JacksTigers 4 years ago

          Carlos Pena was by far the best player on the team.

      • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

        They might be worse. I remember the Dodgers playing them last year, and thinking, well, at least we’re not them.

        They couldn’t do anything well…

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          the only team in baseball last year you could be trailing 5-0 in the 7th and feeling pretty confident you’d get the win

  23. BitLocker 4 years ago

    His numbers before Seattle were pretty solid. Everyone knows that hitters go to Safeco Field to die so maybe he’ll get back to pre-Mariners.

    • Safeco is not bad for lefty´s , he can´t hit, that´s all.

      • PennMariner 4 years ago

        If you knew anything about Jack Cust, you would know that he hits a fair portion of his home-runs to left-center. Left-center is a cavern of death at Safeco.

  24. lots of K’s, but a crazy walk rate and solid power (though curiously absent of late) despite hitting in plenty of pitchers parks. he’s a butcher in the field, so they’ll have to live with that for a season, but if you’re the astros they could have done worse, he may be worth taking a shot on. 

    2 year deal is kind of weird, you’d think he’d be the perfect candidate for some performance bonuses and a club option for the second year.

  25. melonis_rex 4 years ago

    Wait WHAT. You mean, two year minor league deal? This has to be a joke. 

  26. Patrick Troen 4 years ago

    fantastic signing. Jack cust is highly underrated. Go look up his minor league track record we are talking about a hitter who could breakout and hit 40hr. Sure he’ll k 200 times but does it really matter if he hits 40 hr.

    • leachim2 4 years ago

      He’s a 4a guy. Not many guys like him get this many chances.

    • jedicouncil 4 years ago

      maybe he will hit 200 HR`s and strike out 40 times

      • Jon Gregory 4 years ago

        He was on the juice during those years. Now, he’ll be lucky to hit 10 HR’s. And wait until you see how many times he strikes out looking.

        • PennMariner 4 years ago

          There’s truly nothing as classless as baseless steroid speculation. 

  27. this is kinda random…..

  28. thegoldenone 4 years ago

    His agent deserves a bonus for getting Cust a two year deal. Players will be lining up at TWC Sports now, well at least those on the fringe of being out of baseball.

  29. Guest 4 years ago

    April Fool’s Day is still 2 1/2 months away, Ben.

    • leachim2 4 years ago

      Aw come on.

    • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

      I seem to recall seeing Tim do an April Fool’s Day trade back when this site first started actually. Sadly I can’t remember what the trade was though..

      • leachim2 4 years ago

        Carlos Lee for Matt Murton, Angel Guzman, and Rich Hill.

        • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

          Back when those guys were top prospects…

          • Philip Marlowe 4 years ago

            Back when Carlos Lee was worth trading for.

        • Chioakcisco 4 years ago

          Looking back, that would’ve been a horrible trade for the Astros.

  30. vtadave 4 years ago

    Oh no, a two-year deal? This massive contract for Jack Cust is going to prevent the Astros from being competitive ever again.


    It’s an odd signing, but really, does this matter one bit in terms of the future of the franchise? Not a bit.

  31. DbacksAreBeast 4 years ago

    Now they have their Franchise Player…I’m scared of the Astros now!

  32. richardb21 4 years ago

    Rosenthal always tries to make things sound worse, the second year is a club option, no way anyone would give him 2 guaranteed years.

  33. Disgustedfan 4 years ago

    jack cust cant hit for average, has lost his power, cant throw, strikes out looking all the time, worst defender ever, has no speed. But besides those flaws this guy is a STUD.

    • alxn 4 years ago

      which makes it all the more impressive that, despite all of his flaws (and there are a lot of them), he can still get on base at an above-average rate

  34. cardsfan209 4 years ago

    Sounds like the Astros have reached the desperation stage of the free agent signing period

  35. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Is MLBTR protesting SOPA on the 18th in the blackout day?  I support that idea :)

    • Philip Marlowe 4 years ago

      I somewhat disagree with that. MLBTR is essentially a news site that posts very little copyrighted material. Unlike 95% of the rest of the Internet, MLBTR would be mostly safe from the tyranny that is SOPA.

      I think, instead of blacking out for the 18th, MLBTR should run as much copyrighted material as possible. Post a link to every blog, picture, analysis, etc. That’s a SOPA protest right there.

  36. Disgustedfan 4 years ago

    Why was jack always in trouble in school?

    Because jack cussed all the time

  37. This contract is sooooooooo Dodgers

  38. Edgar4evar 4 years ago

    As a Mariners fan I continue to look forward to the day when the Astros join our division and we no longer have to worry about finishing last. Jack Cust went from being a one-dimensional player, to being a half-dimensional player. He can walk…and that’s it. Can’t hit for power or average, can’t play defense. He has no place on an NL team. This move gives me so much confidence that the Astros’ new management is clueless it almost makes up for being in the same division as the Rangers and Angels. I think the M’s can aspire to be the Blue Jays of the West where:

    Angels = Yankees (big market, tossing $$ around)
    Rangers = Red Sox
    M’s = Blue Jays (medium market, but outspent by the big boys)
    A’s = Rays (smart front office, no fans, no cash)
    Houston = Orioles (decent market, bad front office)

    • Guest 4 years ago

      That’s a really good comparison of those teams (at least so long as things keep going the way they currently are in each respective division).

    • mikecav19 4 years ago

      Bad front office???  They just fired their front office and hired a new one.  I can’t wait to get to the AL and play against the M’s.

      • Edgar4evar 4 years ago

        Did you miss the part where the new front office just signed Jack Cust? I don’t think I need a lot more evidence than that. This is like pouring kerosene on a pile of money, laying down on it and lighting it on fire.

        • To a miniscule one year deal with an option year. Oh and the whole thing is non guaranteed so he could be cut in the spring with no cost.

          My only disappointment in this is the reminder that in a year we will be in the AL and if Cust does well this year we will retain him… then he will not longer be a baseball player but will instead be a DH. This whole thing is a sad reminder that the Astros are playing their last season of baseball(no matter how badly), and will soon be playing DH Ball.

  39. Guest 4 years ago

  40. cbadjon 4 years ago

    you guys are ridiculous, does no one remember the fact that he was a ROID’er!  He was caught red-handed.  

    • MLBInsaner 4 years ago

      He was not caught “red-handed”.  He was in the Mitchell report, but was the only one mentioned with no evidence.  Someone said they overheard something, but there was no evidence.

      • cbadjon 4 years ago

        He wa caught saying he used roids…not overheard, he said it directly to larry bigbie

  41. nlewiss 4 years ago

    Cust > Wallace. There’s more of a chance of Cust reverting to his ’07-’10 self than Wallace ever realizing the mythical ‘power potential’ that brought him to Houston in the first place. This is a marginal victory in my opinion. If he’s terrible they can cut him, it’s not like they have a ton of money tied up anyway. 

    Wandy, Myers, Bud, Haap, Lyles/Harrell/Weiland can be a serviceable rotation. If Martinez, Lowrie, and Altuve progress I can see this team only losing double digit games and not being the worst in MLB.

  42. RedbirdRuffian 4 years ago

    Quite a bold move by the Astros.  This guy is guaranteed a spot in the majors?Why not give one of the AAA outfielders a shot?  This club looks scary bad, and the new GM does not look up to the task.  Why would you hire a guy with zero experience even as an assistant GM, to try and turn around a terrible franchise?  Making sure minor league players get their paychecks is far different from running the big club. 

  43. Surprised and good for Jack, I was really expecting to see him playing for the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League this year.

  44. HOW is this a bold move??? Everyone is acting like a 1 year deal with club option is huge, when it is only 600k… idk what’s more likely, he staying beyond the all star break, or Milton Bradley being signed by a team.

  45. i feel sorry for the Astros, but i also feel sorry for Jack Cust because he has to play for them….

  46. Roy Baker 4 years ago

    All you people with your astro jokes aren’t close to funny. Sure I laughed at some of them, but they are NOT funny. That’s my team, dammit.

    Not even close to a bad move. We got a while before we’re back to the 93-06 Astros; winning records constantly, in playoff races, etc. Cust is a 4th OF’er at best. Still can’t wait for the season.

  47. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    good off the bench bat for the astros. they sure need it.

  48. coldgoldenfalstaff 4 years ago

    Non-guaranteed deal, 600K, which is 100K over the minimum.

    But please, keep going on the inept Astros jokes.

    There’s at least a decent chance he can be better than Jason Michaels.

  49. Iconoclast17 4 years ago

    This is really a terrible signing. When Cust came off the roids he lost most of his power. His homer total declined each year from 2007-11. The A’s even had to send him to the minors his last year there because he was so bad.

    He can’t play the field, either. At all. I can’t tell you how many called-third strikes Cust took over the years while trolling for walks, leaving tying/winning runs on base. He’s very similar to Derek Barton in that regard.

    Possibly the Astros think their bandbox will help Cust’s HR totals, but with no DH for them until 2013, what’s the point?

  50. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    I think you’re being sarcastic, but I think you’re on the right track. It would make a lot of sense and explain the two year deal.

  51. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    Well that certainly makes more sense. He still probably shouldn’t have gotten a major league deal though. Can’t imagine anyone else was offering one.

  52. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    Ed Helms can plan Luhnow (they look quite alike), and I would make sure that Danny McBride appeared in the movie.

  53. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago


  54. Stoibs 4 years ago

    It all depends on whether mitchell friedman makes the opening day roster. I’m 100%positive that Gentry is going to be cut! 

  55. nlewiss 4 years ago

    Was referring to a lefty power bat off the bench since Lee is likely moving to 1b full time while the surplus of outfielders try to distinguish themselves (schafer, jd mart, fernando martinez, bogusevic, bourgeois, shuck etc).

  56. chico65 4 years ago

    Astros fans everywhere cust upon hearing news of this signing.

  57. Iconoclast17 4 years ago

    That was like five years ago.

  58. Iconoclast17 4 years ago

    Cust is no longer a power bat. He does two things—walk and strike out looking.

  59. Matt Talbert 4 years ago

    Fmart, JMart, and Bourgeois will be the OF with Schafer as #4 OF or flip Fmart and Schaf.

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