Cust Joins Growing A’s Outfield Corps

The Deal

Another day, another outfielder for the Athletics. On Thursday, Oakland made its fourth trade involving an outfielder in a week, getting Jack Cust from the Padres for a player to be named or cash considerations. The A’s previously dealt for the injured Chris Denorfia, Ryan Langerhans and Chris Snelling.

Update: San Diego ultimately received cash considerations to complete the trade.

The Prospects
Cust, 28, signed with the Diamondbacks as a first-round pick out of a New Jersey high school in 1997. He has a reputation as one of the minor leagues’ most dangerous sluggers and was tied for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League home run lead with eight at the time of the deal. He was hitting .295/.429/.692 with 19 RBIs in 24 games at Triple-A Portland, where he hit 30 homers a year ago. He’s a huge liability as a left fielder and a baserunner, however, and he hasn’t done much in his big league opportunities. He has hit just .222/.331/.389 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 144 at-bats over five seasons. By contast he has hit .286 with 199 homers in 1,113 minor league games.
Quick Take
Cust provides another outfield option for the A’s, who have Milton Bradley, Bobby Kielty and Mark Kotsay on the disabled list and Nick Swisher on day-to-day status. Cust is unlikely to have long-term value, but his bat is somewhat intriguing. He also could get some at-bats in place of DH Mike Piazza, who’s also on the DL.

" Trade Central 2007