Wednesday, March 3, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Jack Cust
Acquired: Traded from San Diego Padres for cash considerations (May 3, 2007).
Contract: One year thru 2010 ($2.65M)
Position: Starting DH
Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.261/.382/.461)
Over/Under: Wow. If there was actually a means to wager real money on an individual player's 2010 OPS, I'd bet Stately Bootleg Manor on the UNDER. Cust was actually non-tendered back in mid-December, as the A's didn't want to pay him upwards of $4 million in arbitration. His strikeouts, poor defense, solid OBP and power – in relation to the rest of Oakland's anemic offense – combined to make him one of the most polarizing players in team history.
His detractors were dancing in the streets of Oakland (hopefully, not after dark, for God's sake) at the news of his non-tender, while even his staunchest supporters – citing Cust's declining offensive production and already legendary rally-killing tendencies – had made peace with his departure. And, then the A's re-signed him a month later. This prompted ESPN.com's Buster Olney to write that the A's value Cust "in a way that many other teams do not". Ugh.
By the Numbers: .912, .851 and .773 – Cust's OPS in each of the last three seasons. A closer look at the stats shows that Cust hit .256/.395/.428 after June 30 last year. I actually like this big galoot, but I can't remember a 25 home run season that was more unwatchable at times.
Surefire 2010 Prediction: Cust is blessed with what observers often refer to as "old player skills". He takes walks, swings violently at everything and strikes out in spades. There's a reason names like Sam Horn, Bob Hamelin and Phil Plantier show up as Cust's comps on Baseball Reference.com. This'll be his last year as an everyday player. (But, I wouldn't put anything past our boy-genius GM.)
Tupac Track for the Season: I'm Losin' It