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Report: Astros, Jack Cust agree to one-year deal with club option

Jan 17, 2012, 11:05 PM EDT

Jack Cust Getty Images

UPDATE: Put the pitchforks and torches down, Astros fans.

Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Cust will get a one-year deal with a club option for 2013. While this is a little better than what we heard a few moments ago, most expected he wouldn’t get anything more than a spring training invite.

10:56 PM: Here’s a surprising one.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Astros and Jack Cust have agreed to terms a two-year contract. You heard me right. The very same Jack Cust who batted just .213 with three home runs, 87 strikeouts and a .673 OPS over 270 plate appearances before being released by the Mariners last August.

Rosenthal speculates that Cust could be an option at designated hitter when the Astros move to the American League in 2013, but that doesn’t make this deal any less of a head-scratcher. The dude turned 33 years old yesterday, can’t play defense and his flyball and contact rates have dipped in each of the last two seasons. Two years for that? Even assuming it’s at a minimal cost, I’m stumped.

The only explanation I can come up with is that Sig Mejdal, the Astros’ new director of decision sciences, must be on vacation this week.

  1. Gonzo - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    If he has a nice first half, he’ll be traded for a minor leaguer or two at the deadline. That’s an upside… I guess?

  2. muckthefets23 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Holy crap, decision sciences??! I need to go back to school. I also need to know how much this guy is making a year. Btw didn’t Cust get picked up by the Iron Pigs after the M’s cut him? I seriously can’t remember because he’s that unimportant.

  3. oms0004 - Jan 18, 2012 at 6:36 AM

    Some one watched Moneyball one too many times.

  4. phillyphreak - Jan 18, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    He gets on base a little bit and he got signed by a terrible team. I’m all for piling on when necessary but for the Astros it’s not needed.

  5. paperlions - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    The Astros are so bereft of talent throughout the entire system (including MLB), they make the Cubs look like the Yankees by comparison. It is going to take MANY years to rebuild that system from the ground up, longer thanks to changes in the CBA that severely limit each teams ability to choose to spend heavily on prospects instead of MLB-level “talent”. Any moves to fill-out the MLB roster over the next few years are pretty much irrelevant as long as they are cheap…..because the Astros are going to suck for the next 4 or 5 years no matter what…that is just how bad a shape that franchise is in.

  6. stex52 - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Good morning, everybody! Boy, I tell you, just when you think the news couldn’t get any worse. I thought > 2 MM$ for Happ to return was 2 MM$ too much.

    But I’m baffled. They have better minor leaguers in the system than this guy. They may not be very good, but they are better than him.

    Why does this just keep getting worse? It’s not like they haven’t been trying to rebuild for four years.

    • paperlions - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      But they haven’t been rebuilding because they haven’t acquired much while shipping of talent….and they’ve severely handicapped themselves by maintaining slot level….one year the Astros failed to sign any picks higher than the 5th round…that ain’t rebuilding.

      • stex52 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        I hear you. I watched it happen. It is just really galling that Ed Wade came in (after the no-signing debacle) with the express purpose of tearing the Astros down and rebuilding a contender. They even changed the entire scouting staff around. Four years later they are worse off.

        To see so much effort to so little effect is maddening. We thought they would be at least in the mix by now. That is why I am so negative on Ed Wade. I don’t see how he could have failed so completely.

  7. paperlions - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Looks like this is a non-guaranteed contract worth “only” $600K. If he sucks in ST, they can dump him at (effectively) no cost.

    • stex52 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Somewhat good news. Sounds like they are not too committed. But they don’t need an outfielder who can’t field. They already have Carlos Lee.

      If Brett Wallace doesn’t work out at first, they could easily have the lightest hitting outfield in the majors. At least last year Lee, Pence and Bourn represented some real OF talent.

      Count on me to root for the Cards for a while.

  8. jeffa43 - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Oh come on…. This is a joke…

    I rather have Hatteberg… even the actor would be better…..

    This gives me a really creepy feeling, as if Ed Wade is still with us…

    I feel like I fell and cut my knee at the end of 2005, and every year since the team is backing up a salt truck for non stop application.

    This is not funny… this is my team…. Only thing that will make this better is unloading Lee.

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