Interesting Timing: Cust Back to A's

January 7, 2010, 7:47 pm
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Jan. 7, 2010

Mychael Urban

I just confirmed through rock-solid sources that Jack Cust, with whom the Giants have been talking, has agreed to return to the A's on a one-year deal that will pay him 2.5 million in base salary, with incentives that could push it closer to 3 million.Good move for the A's. He's a much better fit for the A's as a DH than the Giants, for whom he'd have made for uneasy times in the outfield. And Oakland is getting him at an even lower base than they paid him last year (2.8 mil), when he led the team in homers for the third consecutive season.Interesting timing, too.
I spoke with Jack via text yesterday and he said the A's hadn't made an offer yet. But Billy Beane had told me he expected to get an opportunity to match any offer Cust and his agent deemed acceptable. Did our news report Wednesday that the Giants were talking with Cust expedite things? At the risk of self-indulgence, I'd say it's certainly possible.
You know how these two teams like to tweak each other. So remove Cust from the list of potential gets for the Giants, who still want a left-handed bat. And plug Cust's high OBP and pop into an A's lineup that would have been a pop gun without the likable big fella from Jersey.Check out Chronicle Live at 5 tonight for some analysis on the move; I'll be appearing with host Greg Papa on a panel that includes two of the better columnists in the Bay Area, Monte Poole and Lowell Cohn.

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