It looks like the Oakland Athletics will retain their main source of power from the past three seasons by bringing back Jack Cust for a one-year, incentive-laden deal. The deal is reportedly similar to the $2.8 million he made last season.
Cust was targeted by several teams this offseason, but decided to stick with the A's instead. In 2009, the A's slugger had a .240/.356/.417 season, blasted a team-leading 25 homers, and walked 93 times.
Cust's ability to not only hit for power, but to draw a lot of walks, is what the A's like most about him. Cust collected 93 free bases last season, 111 in 2008, and 105 in 2007. His power isn't too bad either, as he hit 25 dingers in 2009, 33 in 2008, and 26 in 2007.
But while Cust is known throughout the league for his power, he's also known as the "Strikeout King." Cust struck out 185 times last season in 513 at-bats, meaning that more than one-third of his at-bats resulted in a strikeout. In 2008, Cust's strikeout total was 197 and in 2007 it was 164.
The bottom line is that Cust either draws a walk, strikes-out, or watches the ball leave the yard.
But despite his high strikeout rate, the A's are sure happy to have their big-bat back in the lineup.