Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The More You Know: Jack Cust

So Twitter is ablaze with Jack Cust to the Mariners, so let's assume this is true.

Things to know about Jack Cust:

Jack Cust kills right handed pitchers.  Even in a "down" 2010, .285/.410/.470.

Jack Cust strikes out a ton, but he also will probably lead the team in OBP, so it hardly matters.

Jack Cust is listed as OF/DH in most references, but if he's in the outfield, you know whoever is pitching is muttering to themselves dirty words.  He's not a defender.

Jack Cust, surprisingly, is just 31.  Turns 32 next month.  So he's four years younger than Branyan, and doesn't bring the bad-back-history.

Jack Cust hasn't hit well at Safeco, but he's only had 97 career AB's there, so let's not get too antsy.

Jack Cust, as a lefty, would seem to be a good fit for the Safe if looking to him to yank balls over the right field wall, but checking Hit Tracker, it would seem to suggest that he's a spray-home-run hitter and I'm not sure he's going to be able to go the other way too much in Seattle.  I'll have to do more research on that one though. Updated: Looking at MLB's hit chart, in his career at Oakland, Cust appears to have hit about 40% of his home runs the other way.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing talent-wise, but it's probably a bad thing Safeco-wise.

Interestingly, this doesn't necessarily preclude the M's from bringing Branyan back, which would make for an interesting all-or-nothing 3-4 in the lineup, but given the M's needs and lack of flexibility, I doubt that it will happen.  I do hope it ends this Cantu ridiculousness though.

Haven't seen the money (update: early report says one year deal, in the $2.5 mil range.  If Cust can manage to be a 2.0 WAR player, then this is a bargain), but all in all, a fine pickup if it's a one year deal.  He'll probably go .245/22/80 or so if he hits cleanup and gets 500 AB's and he provides an extra OF in a real pinch.

I'm not posting if we acquire Valbuena, who sounds to be a darling of Eric Wedge.  Sigh.

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