UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports is now reporting it’s a done deal for one year, $2.5 million. The Mariners have only one open roster spot with the Rule 5 draft tomorrow, so could wind up having to DFA somebody unless they hold off on making this deal official for a couple of days.
The latest big rumor involving the Mariners has Jack Cust on the verge of signing a free agent contract to be their designated hitter. San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser, who has texted with Cust on previous stories, just tweeted that he’s on the verge of signing with Seattle.
Cust is strictly a DH. A left bat who pounded 84 homers in three seasons for the Oakland A’s from 2007-2009, then added 13 more in only 349 at-bats for the A’s last year while adding an impressive .833 on-base-plus slugging percentage.
So, what becomes of Milton Bradley?
Photo Credit: AP
That’s a good question (thanks for asking it, Geoff). Bradley was already getting squeezed out of the outfield by Michael Saunders. Now, he’s going to see limited DH action as well if Cust is coming on board.
I suppose we’ll hear speculation about how Bradley could platoon in left with Saunders and at DH with Cust, but that’s never really how these things work out. Bradley is making $12 million next season. That’s a lot of money for a right handed platoon/bench guy.
In Cust, you get a lot of Russell Branyan. The high strikeout totals, with the “all or nothing” power. But he does know how to take a walk, as his .378 lifetime OBP indicates. That on-base number was at .395 last year. Would have been the best on the Mariners by acountry mile — which is the distance of some of Cust’s blasts.
If he puts up similar numbers, he’ll be better than Branyan. If he can stay healthy. Did I mention he’s similar to Branyan? We’ll see.