Jack Cust Rumors

Minor Moves: Cust, LaPorta, Wood, Arnett

Here are today's minor moves from around the league.

  • The Orioles have released DH Jack Cust and 1B Matt LaPorta, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski reports. Cust was out of baseball in 2013 but hit .243/.400/.442 in 493 plate appearances for two Triple-A teams in 2012. He has played in parts of two big-league seasons, collecting by far the most playing time as a DH/OF for the Athletics from 2007 through 2010. LaPorta, 29, hit .238/.310/.476 in 184 plate appearances for the Indians' Triple-A Columbus affiliate in 2013. He was the key piece in the 2008 trade that sent C.C. Sabathia from Cleveland to Milwaukee.
  • The Padres have released pitcher Zach Braddock and infielder Brandon Wood, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock. Braddock, 26, pitched 51 innings combined in 2010 and 2011 with the Brewers. Wood, of course, was once a top prospect with the Angels. He spent 2013 playing Triple-A ball with the Orioles and Royals, hitting .226/.262/.329 in 252 plate appearances. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2011 with the Pirates.
  • The Brewers have released pitcher Eric Arnett, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets. Arnett, a 2009 first-round pick, pitched sparingly in 2013, missing most of the season after having knee surgery.

Orioles To Sign Jack Cust, Evan Meek

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here …

  • The Orioles have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder/DH Jack Cust, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Cust, 35, has not seen MLB action since 2011, when he hit .213/.344/.329 in 270 plate appearances at DH for the Mariners. He was out of baseball last year, but slashed an interesting .243/.400/.442 (with 20 home runs) in 493 Triple-A plate appearances in 2012.
  • Baltimore has also inked righty Evan Meek, tweets Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun. The 30-year-old has made 156 MLB appearances, all as a Pirates reliever, and logged 172 2/3 innings of 3.34 ERA ball over the span of 2008-12. But he struggled in limited action in 2012, and worked as a Triple-A swingman for the Rangers last year (posting a 4.50 ERA in 108 innings).
  • With Chaz Roe electing free agency, only the Royals' Everett Teaford and Emilio Bonifacio remain in DFA limbo, as reflected in the MLBTR DFA Tracker.

Orioles Notes: Duquette, Payroll, Cust

As reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick earlier today, there was an issue in Tyler Colvin's physical that may be preventing the Orioles from finalizing their minor league deal with the outfielder.  This would be the second time this offseason that a problematic physical has interfered with an O's signing, as the club walked away from a two-year agreement with Grant Balfour due to concerns about his wrist and knee.

In other news out of Camden Yards…

  • With roughly $82-83MM already committed to the 2014 payroll, Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette says the club's payroll will be closer to $100MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports.  "This year, if you said $100 [million], that would be reasonable.  I think over the course of four years, we have been expanding our payroll.  But we are going to stay within the resources of the market."  Pitching seems to be the Orioles' target, as Duquette said "things are starting to move again" now that Masahiro Tanaka has signed.
  • The Orioles need to be willing to spend more to compete in the AL East, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun opines, especially since the team enjoys extra revenue every year from its co-ownership of MASN.  
  • It doesn't seem like the Orioles will sign Jack Cust to a minor league contract, MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko hears from a few sources.  Cust was at Baltimore's minicamp last week in pursuit of a deal, and Kubatko says that Cust could possibly still be invited to the Orioles' minor league minicamp on February 22.


Minor Notes: Madson, Cust, Wells

Here's a roundup on players likely to sign minor-league contracts.

  • The Phillies, Red Sox and Royals are among the teams in on Ryan Madson, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets. Rosenthal also tweets, however, that Madson is unlikely to sign until after teams watch him pitch off a mound in February. Madson, who has struggled to return from elbow troubles, has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011, when he was with the Phillies.
  • DH Jack Cust worked out for the Orioles this week, but it's unclear whether the team wants to sign him, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. "It's still under consideration," executive vice president Dan Duquette says. Cust did not play in 2013, but he posted a .243/.400/.442 line at the Triple-A level in 2012.
  • Former Mariners and Padres reliever Jared Wells will work out for teams next week, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. Wells, 32, last pitched in the Majors in 2008. He played independent ball in 2013.

O’s Interested In Delmon Young, Jack Cust, Mark Reynolds

The Orioles have some interest in adding both Delmon Young and Jack Cust on minor league deals, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Each player will be at the Orioles' minicamp tomorrow to see if there's a potential fit on a non-roster deal, according to Kubatko. Baltimore also has some interest in a reunion with Mark Reynolds, though nothing is hot on that front for now, according to Kubatko (All links to Twitter).

Young, 28, batted .260/.307/.407 with 11 homers in 361 plate appearances for the Phillies and Rays in 2013. He performed significantly better with the Rays overall, as he posted a .699 OPS (92 OPS+) with the Phillies and a .780 mark (117 OPS+) with the Rays. Young is regarded as a poor defensive player but has handled lefties well throughout his career and could fill a DH/part-time left field role for Baltimore.

Cust, who turns 35 on Thursday, hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2011 with the Mariners when he batted .213/.344/.329 in 270 plate appearances. After a solid year with the Triple-A affiliates for the Yankees and Blue Jays in 2012 (he batted .243/.400/.442 in 114 games), Cust sat out the 2013 season. Cust didn't have a long peak, but he was very good for the A's from 2007-10 when he batted .247/.381/.457 and averaged 24 homers per season. In 2008, he paced the American League with 111 walks and also belted 33 homers.

Reynolds spent two seasons with the O's, batting .221/.328/.458 with 60 homers from 2011-12. However, Baltimore elected to non-tender him rather than go through arbitration a final time heading into the 2013 campaign. Reynolds latched on with the Indians on a one-year deal. After a blistering April, he cooled off and was ultimately released before signing with the Yankees. He hit .220/.306/.393 with 21 homers overall last season.


Minor Moves: Nats, Royals, Cust, Padres, Puckett

Here are a few of today's minor moves from around baseball:

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Rays Sign Jack Cust

The Rays announced that they have signed Jack Cust to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training. The designated hitter/outfielder is represented by TWC Sports.  

The 34-year-old last appeared in the majors with the Mariners in 2011 where he hit .213/.344/.329 with three homers in 67 games. Across parts of ten big league seasons, Cust owns a slash line of .242/.374/.439.


Blue Jays Sign Jack Cust

The Blue Jays have signed Jack Cust to a minor league deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).  The slugger will report to the club's Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Cust, 33, was cut loose by the Yankees on Wednesday after signing a minor league deal with the club back in March.  The designated hitter/corner outfielder posted a .249/.400/.475 slash line with 20 homers, 81 walks, and 127 plate appearances for Scranton Wilkes-Barre this year.


Minor Moves: Jack Cust, Dewayne Wise

The latest minor moves from around MLB…


Yankees Sign Jack Cust

The Yankees have signed Jack Cust to a minor league contract, reports Sweeny Murti of WFAN (on Twitter). Last night we heard that the TWC Sports client was likely to sign with an NL team, but the Yankees apparently swooped in.

Cust, 33, was released by the Astros yesterday. He posted a .213/.344/.329 line with three home runs in 270 plate appearances for the Mariners in 2011, when he earned $2.5MM. However, the left-handed hitter averaged 28 homers and 103 walks with the A's from 2007-09. Cust gives the Yankees some left-handed hitting DH insurance in Triple-A in case Raul Ibanez doesn't work out.