Astros reach one-year deal with Cust
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com | 01/17/12 11:55 PM EST
HOUSTON -- Jack Cust, who has hit 105 home runs in a 10-year Major League career that has spanned six teams, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Astros that includes an option for 2013, according to a baseball source.
The deal is pending a physical and could be announced as soon as Wednesday. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow declined to comment.
Cust, 33, appeared in 67 games before being cut loose last July by the Mariners, for whom he batted .213 with three homers and 23 RBIs. He spent the previous four seasons with the Oakland A's, hitting 97 homers and driving in 281 runs in that span. He's played primarily left field, right field and designated hitter in his career.
The addition of Cust likely puts him in the mix to start in right field in an increasingly crowded group that includes Brian Bogusevic, Jason Bourgeois, J.B. Shuck and Fernando Martinez, the former top prospect of the Mets who was claimed off waivers last week.
Cust could certainly fulfill the Astros' needs for a designated hitter if he returns to the club in 2013 -- the first year the Astros will compete in the American League. He led the AL in strikeouts from 2007-09, breaking the league record with 197 whiffs in '08. Cust also led the league in walks in '08.
For his career, Cust has an on-base percentage of .374; he posted a .344 OBP last year with Seattle