The Houston Astros are reportedly signing free agent Jack Cust to a one-year contract with a 2013 option. Well, all right then.
Look, I'm not a professional baseball scout. I'm just a professional baseball blogger who has watched a lot of baseball games. There are things scouts know that I don't know. Lots of things. So many things.
But I'm a baseball blogger who blogs about the Seattle Mariners. Every day. I've blogged about the Seattle Mariners for a long time, and I blogged about the Seattle Mariners last season. So I watched a ton of the Seattle Mariners last season. And while watching the Seattle Mariners last season, I couldn't help but arrive at the conclusion that Jack Cust is finished.
Which makes this so, so weird:
Sources: #Astros reach two-year agreement with Jack Cust, pending physical. Could be 2013 DH after team moves to AL.
The Astros are under new management. They have Jeff Luhnow and everything. They're supposed to have turned over a new leaf - a new, better leaf. And they're signing Jack Cust to a two-year contract?
It's not that it's crippling. It's not crippling. We don't know the terms, but I'm sure they're pretty small. The Astros aren't signing Jack Cust for big money. But two guaranteed years?
Oh wait hold on a second. Zachary Levine to the rescue!
The second year for Jack Cust with Astros is a club option, according to person with knowledge of the deal.
That's much better. I still wouldn't say that it's good, but it's much better. It's less guarantee, to a player who doesn't deserve much of a guarantee.
Cust still knows how to draw a walk. Jack Cust will forever know how to draw a walk. That isn't the issue. But he's never been a good defender. He's never been a good contact hitter. And his power has seemingly disappeared. In 2008, Cust hit 30 percent of his fly balls for home runs. Then 18 percent. Then 15 percent. Then six percent. Last season, Jack Cust hit three home runs. He slugged .329.
Maybe Jack Cust isn't finished. Maybe my eyes deceived me. Maybe it was just an off year. Maybe he needs a change of scenery. The Astros are going to find out what he has left, making him play some sort of position. I'm not particularly optimistic, but at least I can say with a high degree of certainty that Jack Cust will not be the reason the Astros lose in 2012. So.