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Jack Cust Rumors
Jack Cust will sign a minor league contract with an NL team, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post (on Twitter). That team is not the Rockies however, and we can also rule out the Astros since they released him this morning.
Cust, 33, signed a non-guaranteed Major League deal worth $600K with Houston in January. The one-year contract had also included a club option for 2013. 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. However, the TWC Sports client averaged 28 homers and 103 walks with the A's from 2007-09.
Cust, 33, signed a non-guaranteed Major League deal worth $600K in January. The one-year contract had also included a club option for 2013. 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. However, the TWC Sports client averaged 28 homers and 103 walks with the A's from 2007-09.
Duke, 28, posted a 4.93 ERA with 3.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 49.6% ground ball rate in 76 2/3 innings last year. The 2009 All-Star owns a 4.56 ERA with 4.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 49.0% ground ball rate in seven seasons with Arizona and Pittsburgh. SFX represents the Clifton, Texas native.
Nine years ago today, the Pirates signed Kenny Lofton to a one-year contract. After hitting .277/.333/.437 in 374 plate appearances for Pittsburgh, he was traded to the Cubs along with Aramis Ramirez for Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill, and Matt Bruback at the deadline. Here's the latest from two of Lofton's many former divisions, the NL and AL Central…
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel that he has no plans to trade Logan Schafer despite the club's center field depth (Twitter link). The 25-year-old Schafer has had a strong spring but is stuck behind Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez on the depth chart.
- The Astros and GM Jeff Luhnow intend to take a look at right-handed reliever Francisco Samuel, reports B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (on Twitter). The Cardinals – Luhnow's former team – released Samuel earlier today.
- Jack Cust has had a slow start to Spring Training, though Luhnow indicated to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince that the slugger will continue to get chances with the Astros. They signed him to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal worth $500K with an option for 2013 this offseason.
- "We looked to see if we could acquire some of the game's most impactful young players," said White Sox GM Kenny Williams to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com when asked about the team's rebuilding plan. "Our target list was our target list. We set the price high, and we stuck with it."
All of last night’s filing numbers, including player submissions, team submissions and midpoints, can now be found in MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker. Here are some contract details from around MLB:
- The Reds and Bill Bray settled at $1,417,500 yesterday, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes tweets. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected a $1.4MM salary for the left-handed reliever.
- Right-hander Tyler Clippard and the Nationals agreed to terms yesterday on a $1.65MM deal for 2012, I tweeted earlier tonight. The 26-year-old reliever had been projected for $1.7MM
- Tom Gorzelanny obtained $3MM from the Nationals for 2012, I noted on Twitter earlier this evening. That's a little north of what had been reported Tuesday and it tops the left-hander’s projected $2.8MM salary.
- Agent Bobby Barad told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that the Astros’ 2013 option for the newly-signed Jack Cust is worth $1MM. Cust agreed to a non-guaranteed Major League deal worth $600K yesterday.
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.
Cust was signed just last week and had a .250/348/.500 line in 23 Triple-A plate appearances. The Phillies are known to be looking for a left-handed bench bat, though Cust's lack of pinch-hitting success made him a less-than-ideal fit for the role. This is the veteran slugger's second release in the month after being cut loose by the Mariners on August 4.
Heilman, 32, signed with the Phils last month after being released by the D'Backs. Heilman posted a 6.88 ERA in 32 appearances coming out of the Arizona bullpen this season and his struggles continued in Philadelphia's minor league system — an 8.38 ERA in 9 1/3 innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies have had internal discussions about acquiring a left-handed bench bat to serve as a pinch-hitter, according to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Phils discussed trades involving Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi and Twins first baseman/DH Jim Thome prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, and they would still like to acquire either of those sluggers, according to Brookover. However, both would be long shots at this point because it's unlikely Giambi or Thome would fall to the Phillies through waivers.
Ross Gload and Brian Schneider are the only lefty hitters on the bench presently, although the Phils recently signed former Athletics and Mariners slugger Jack Cust to a minor league contract in hopes that he could serve in a Matt Stairs-like role. Cust has declined in recent years, though, and has not had much success in his career as a pinch-hitter, so it doesn't sound like the Phils are expecting much there.
Otherwise, one remaining option would be to recall Domonic Brown, although that is less than ideal because he is slumping with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and needs to play every day to develop. Another option the Phils have discussed, a source tells Brookover, is recalling Brandon Moss from Lehigh Valley. Moss, of course, was involved in the three-team swap that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and Jason Bay to the Red Sox a couple years back.
The Phils look to be fine-tuning things before the postseason. We also heard yesterday that they are seeking a left-handed reliever.
The Mariners, who signed Cust to a $2.5MM deal over the winter, released him earlier this month. The 32-year-old posted a .213/.344/.329 line with three homers in 270 plate appearances this year. After averaging 28 homers and 103 walks with the A's from 2007-09, Cust's power numbers have fallen off in 2010-11.
The Mariners announced that they have released Jack Cust, who was designated for assignment last week. Seattle's 40-man roster now has 39 players and the Mariners have an empty 25-man roster spot after optioning Greg Halman to Triple-A.
Cust, 32, posted a .213/.344/.329 line with three homers in 270 plate appearances this year. After averaging 28 homers and 103 walks with the A's from 2007-09, Cust's power numbers have fallen off. The left-handed hitter signed a $2.5MM deal with Seattle in December after the A's non-tendered him.
It was on this day in 1907 that Walter Johnson made his Major League debut with the Washington Senators. The Big Train retired after 21 seasons in Washington with 417 career wins, 3509 career strikeouts and a case as possibly the greatest pitcher of all time.
Some notes from around the majors….
- The Marlins were quiet at the trade deadline since the club wants to keep its core intact for the move into their new Miami ballpark in 2012, writes CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler.
- The recently-DFA'ed Jack Cust visited some ex-teammates in the Athletics' clubhouse today but he told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the A's weren't one of a few teams that had shown some interest in him.
- Steve Slowsinski of Fangraphs gives kudos to the Rockies' front office for taking a risk with the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, but "really dislikes the trade from a philosophical point of view." Slowinski feels Colorado could have at least gotten one of Cleveland's top position player prospects (Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall) back in the deal.
- Bobby Abreu's $9MM option for 2012 vested on Sunday night and the veteran slugger tells MLB.com's Jordan Garretson that he's happy to remain with the Angels for the rest of his career.
- From that same piece, Mike Scioscia explained the team's decision to send Mike Trout back to Double-A Arkansas rather than Triple-A Salt Lake City as partially due to the fact that Arkansas is headed for the postseason. "We really feel strongly that in a player's development it's important to experience the playoffs. In Mike's case, he's a guy that's leading a team to the playoffs," Scioscia said.