The Rays announced the signing of left-hand hitting Jack Cust to a minor league deal. That means he will probably end spring training in a Bulls uniform.
I know it is really, really early to start kvetching about how the Rays treat the Bulls. But things were looking pretty good until this announcement.
Also, I’ve never met Mr. Cust and I’ve never seen him play baseball. So I could be wrong (imagine that!). But remember that WDBB is about the Durham Bulls and a non-playing DH with questionable stats is no way to start start the season.
Mr. Cust was in AAA all of last year. He played in 98 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and 16 with Las Vegas (Blue Jays). Decent line .243/.400/.442, but lots of Ks, 148 in 493 PAs. Biggest problem is that he’s a pure DH. He only took the field 8 times in 2012, all while with Las Vegas.
Almost as irritating to a Bulls fan is the cavalier attitudes of the Rays bloggers. Which seems to be, What do we care about the Bulls? It’s OK with us if the Rays park this guy in Durham for a while.
For example, Robbie Knopf over at Rays Colored Glasses:
But you know what can happen over the course of the season, and stashing a halfway-decent backup option at Triple-A on a cheap minor league deal is a worthwhile move.Or R.J. Anderson at The Process Report:
Because Cust is not a big-league free agent with six or more years of service time he will not require a retention cost come the regular season. Instead Cust could spend the entire season at Durham without added financial commitments.And Daniel Russel at DRaysBay:
Cust fulfills the back-up designated hitter role Hideki Matsui played in 2012, and profiles as Durham’s every day DH.But you get the idea. Around here we are remembering last year's start with Juan Miranda followed by Brandon Allen. We remember Hideki Matsui. We remember the pain of April and May 2012. We don't want it to happen again. But I guess we don't have any say in the matter ... and never did. Do we really need a professional DH in Durham?