Posts Tagged ‘Oakland A’s’

Nationals Lose Out On Orlando Hudson, So Turn To Adam Kennedy

February 5, 2010

Adam Kennedy’s future was mostly dependent on Orlando Hudson. Hudson was the premier second baseman left on the market and teams weren’t going to move on Kennedy until Hudson was signed. Kennedy essentially became the fallback option.

Now that Hudson has found a home with the Minnesota Twins, the Washington Nationals have found their fallback option. According to’s Bill Ladson, the Nationals have signed Kennedy to a one-year, $1.25 million deal. The deal also includes a $2 million club option for 2011.

Kennedy was a fallback option for the Nats

Poor Adam Kennedy. If Hudson had signed with the Nationals or Cleveland Indians, he could be in Minnesota with a chance to play in the playoffs in 2010. Now he is going to Washington and to probably a last place team next season. It’s like being rejected by your dream job and settling for a job that pays 25 percent less and has no long-term growth.

However, the reality is Kennedy is even lucky to have a major league job in 2010.

Kennedy was released by the St. Louis Cardinals in the winter of 2009, then signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, and then was traded to the Oakland A’s for Joe Dillion. Kennedy had an up-and-down year for the A’s in 2009.

He got off to a rip roaring start, hitting .390 in May, but then dipped to .218 in June, got back on track in July hitting .296, stumbled again in August hitting .224, and then ended the season on a tear hitting .349 in September. Kennedy ended the season hitting .289 with 11 home runs and a .758 OPS in 128 games.

I don’t expect Kennedy to come anywhere close to his 2009 numbers in 2010. Especially his power numbers. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know why the Nationals signed Kennedy in the first place.

Why are the Nationals signing a 34-year-old second baseman? I don’t mind when a team signs a veteran for one year as long as it doesn’t prevent a young player from getting a shot. With this signing, the Nationals are preventing a young player from getting a shot.

With Kennedy in the fold, Cristian Guzman with his surgically repaired shoulder and poor UZR will remain at short and Ian Desmond is out of a starting job. Desmond hit .280 with four home runs in 82 AB’s last year. I know it’s not a great sample size, but what can Kennedy do that Desmond can’t?

Bill James predicted a .282 season from Desmond with 13 home runs and a .770 OPS. Now he will be sitting on the bench while some veteran who has no long-term future with the club gets his AB’s.

I appreciate the fact the Nationals are trying to put a competitive product on the field. In this economy, a team has to do whatever it can to sell tickets, but they are going about it the wrong way. They should try to win with guys like Desmond, not have him sit on the bench or go down to the minors.

The Nationals would have been better off investing this money in their bullpen. Kennedy was a poor investment by the Nationals.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Minor Moves Highlight Monday In Baseball

February 2, 2010

Yesterday was my first day at my new job. First days at a new company are always fascinating. Everybody is your best friend, you do the typical HR stuff, and all the papers on your desk are all in a neat pile.

By the end of the week, you become less popular and all the papers on your desk look like a tornado (Kerry Von Erich perhaps?) just hit it. However, it took me just one day to become the least popular guy in the office.

During lunch I decided to buy a box in the company’s Super Bowl pool. And on cue, I draw the numbers four and seven. The Holy Grail of Super Bowl numbers.

I felt like George Costanza when he gave the going away speech on his first day when he was working on the Penske File. Everyone was like “Who is this guy?”

While I started a job on Monday, there were a lot of baseball players who either found a new home or were left looking for a new job or in one players case, found and a new home and in a matter of hours, needed a new home.

Here are some of the minor moves that took place on Monday.

Florida Marlins sign Seth McClung. The Marlins are desperate for bullpen help, so signing McClung to a minor league deal makes sense. McClung finished with a 4.94 ERA in 62 innings for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009.

In order for McClung to be effective, he needs to lower his walks. He almost had a one-to-one (39 BB’s/40K’s)  strike out to walk ratio in 2009. His WHIP and ERA have increased three years in a row.

Garko has a new home in Seattle

Seattle Mariners sign Ryan Garko. The Mariners signed Garko to a one-year, $550,000 contract on Monday. Garko had two productive years in 2007 and 2008 for the Cleveland Indians, but didn’t do much for the San Francisco Giants when they acquired him in July.

Garko hit only .235 with two home runs in 127 AB’s with the Giants last year. Look for Garko to be the Mariners pinch-hitter off the bench against left-handed pitching.

San Francisco Giants sign Horacio Ramirez and Byung-Hyun Kim. The Giants signed Ramirez to a minor league contract. Remember when the lefty was considered the next great Atlanta Braves starter? Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Injuries have derailed Ramirez’s career and he has been toiling in mediocrity with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Washington Nationals.

I would be very surprised if he made the Giants’ Opening Day roster.

Kim hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007 and quite frankly, I didn’t even realize he retired. No matter what Kim accomplished in the majors, he will always be remembered for giving up those home runs in back-to-back games in the World Series against the New York Yankees.

I thought he would retire on the mound right then and there. That was brutal to watch.

Oakland A’s sign Gabe Gross. Another day, another outfielder on the A’s roster. It seems like the A’s have 10 outfielders on their roster.

The former University of Auburn quarterback hit .227 with six home runs and a .326 OBP in 115 games with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009. Gross could be the A’s fourth outfielder in 2010 and his signing could spell the end for Travis Buck in Oakland.

Oakland A’s trade Aaron Miles and a PTBNL to the Cincinnati Reds for Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales. The Reds needed to shed payroll in order to sign Orlando Cabrera, so they shipped Taveras to Oakland. Taveras’ stay with Oakland lasted about two minutes as the A’s promptly designated him for assignment.

These things happen when you have a .559 OPS.

Miles, who was traded to Oakland along with Jake Fox from the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason, is expected to be Brandon Phillips’ primary backup next season.

One guy who didn’t sign yesterday was Johnny Damon. I got to be honest, I like Damon a lot, but I can’t take it anymore with him this offseason.

It’s getting very annoying reading article after article about what teams may or may not have an interest in him. Just sign with a team, cut your losses, and get it over with.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Oakland A’s Sign Ben Sheets

January 26, 2010

There were a lot of teams interested in Ben Sheets. Rumor had it there were at least 15 teams that watched Sheets workout at the University of Louisiana at Monroe last Tuesday.

I thought the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, or maybe even the Seattle Mariners were his most likely landing spots. However, it was another team that swooped in and signed the 31-year-old right-hander.

Sheets is headed to Oakland

According to’s Jon Heyman, the Oakland A’s have signed Sheets to a one-year, $10 million contract. The deal will also include performances bonuses that can net Sheets an extra $2 million.

Well, I am going to have to admit I am a little surprised by the amount of money Sheets got, but I understand the signing for both parties.

For the A’s, this is the same move they pulled last year when they traded for Matt Holliday and signed Orlando Cabrera and Jason Giambi during the offseason. These moves weren’t made so the A’s can win the AL West, they were made so the A’s can get top prospects back.

The A’s are a young team right now and won’t be competing for the AL West crown in 2010. The A’s signed Sheets in hopes that he comes back next year healthy, so they can trade him for some top hitting or pitching prospects.

Pitchers hold more value at the trade deadline than hitters, so if Sheets stays healthy in 2010, then the A’s can get a significant return for him. If Sheets gets hurt again next year, then he is only on a one-year deal and the A’s aren’t stuck with a long-term disaster.

For Sheets, the A’s make sense for a couple of reasons.

For one, I don’t think any other team was willing to go to $10 million for one year of his services. That is a lot of money for a guy who has made 30 starts just once in the last five years and missed all of 2009.

Sheets took the most money offered and who can blame him? I would have done the same thing.

Secondly, pitching in Oakland is probably good for a pitcher trying to make a comeback. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a pitcher’s ballpark.

With its large foul territory and pitcher friendly dimensions, any pitcher wouldn’t mind pitching in that stadium. Also, the air at night in Oakland gets pretty heavy and a lot of home runs go to die, which helps. Sheets can make some mistakes in Oakland that won’t cost him like they would in let’s say Milwaukee or Texas.

Sheets will be entering his ninth season in the major leagues and has a career record of 86-83 with a 3.72 ERA and is a four-time All Star with the Brewers.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Rockies Lose Jose Contreras, But Bring Back Jason Giambi

January 24, 2010

Back in October, my buddy Odie sent me a text saying “I can’t believe Contreras is pitching important innings for the Rockies.” After all, the Jose Contreras we saw pitch against the Boston Red Sox as a member of Chicago White Sox a couple of months earlier, was one of the worst pitchers we had seen all year.

He couldn’t throw strikes, he couldn’t field his position, and his head seemed in the clouds. He was truly terrible.

Contreras will join the Phillies' bullpen

However, Contreras found the fountain of youth with the Colorado Rockies and pitched quite well for them down the stretch. In seven games, Contreras had a 1.59 ERA and struck out 17 in 17 innings pitched.

Contreras’ performance with the Rockies earned him a contract for 2010. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Philadelphia Phillies have signed Contreras to a one-year contract. No terms of the deal have been disclosed.

Contreras is the second relief pitcher the Phillies have signed this offseason. Earlier in this offseason, the National League Champions signed Danys Baez.

Contreras is expected to be an old-fashioned “swing man” for the Phillies. He will be a guy who can spot start or pitch a couple of innings out of the bullpen if need be.

Contreras, 38, will be entering his eighth season in the major leagues and has a career record of 71-63 with a 4.61 ERA with the New York Yankees, White Sox and Rockies.

While the Rockies lost Contreras, they did manage to bring back a fan favorite.

As first reported by Andrew Marchand of ESPN 1050 Radio, the Rockies have re-signed Jason Giambi to a one-year, $1.75 million contract. Giambi is expected to be the Rockies’ top pinch-hitter and power source off the bench in 2010.

The Rockies have brought back the Giambino

This is a good re-signing by the Rockies.

Much like Contreras, Giambi was revitalized in Colorado after being released by the Oakland A’s earlier in the year. In 24 AB’s with the Rockies, Giambi hit .292 with two home runs and a .452 OBP.

Just as important as to what Giambi produced on the field, it’s what he did off the field for the Rockies, which made him a valuable part of the Rockies’ clubhouse.

Despite being a poster boy for the steroid era, Giambi has always been a favorite of any clubhouse he has been a part of. His loose personality and leadership abilities are good for a young Rockies team.

Giambi will be entering his 16th season in the major leagues and has a career .282 average with 409 home runs and a .405 OBP with the A’s, New York Yankees, and Rockies.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

A’s Prospect Desme Wants To Become A Padre

January 23, 2010

One of the reasons we follow sports as a society is because sports bring uncertainty. On any given day, one team can beat another and everyday brings a new story.

Sometimes the stories are expected and sometimes the stories come out of right field. I have been following sports–and in particular baseball–for the past 25 years and I have never heard a story like the one that came out of Oakland yesterday.

Desme is leaving the A's to be a priest

Grant Desme, one of the Oakland A’s top prospects is retiring from baseball to enter the priesthood. It’s news that nobody saw coming, not even A’s GM Billy Beane.

Beane “was understanding and supportive,” Desme said through the Associated Press, but the decision “sort of knocked him off his horse.”

I am not surprised this new knocked Beane off his horse because Desme was a rising prospect in the A’s organization.

Desme was a second-round pick of the A’s back in 2007 and was recently named MVP of the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .315 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 27 games. Desme also had a breakout year in the minors in 2009.

In 131 games with Class-A Kane County and high Class-A Stockton, Desme hit .288 with 31 home runs, 40 stolen bases, 31 doubles, six triples, and a .933 OPS. He went into 2010 as the A’s’ eighth best prospect according to Baseball America.

I love how people are trying to justify the loss of Desme to the A’s by saying he didn’t project well. Are you kidding? How does anyone know how this kid was going to project based on one year in Single-A?

Isn’t that typical of how we are? It’s like when a girl breaks up with us and we and our friends try to justify that she wasn’t the one or you can do better than her. We all–including myself–have done it before.

Just like with the girlfriend breakup, the A’s will move on from this. But unlike the girlfriend breakup, there was nothing to suggest that Desme couldn’t have had a successful major league career.

Who is to say that whatever holes he had in his swing in Single-A couldn’t be corrected in Double-A? Whether Desme would become an All Star caliber player with the A’s, we will never know. What we do know is that Desme is following his passion and we can’t fault him for that.

“I love the game, but I aspire to higher things,” Desme said. “I know I have no regrets.”

Good for him I say. I think why this story is making headlines and is considered bizarre, is because Desme is leaving baseball to become a priest. It’s something that doesn’t happen to everyday.

But being a priest is not bizarre, it’s a career. It’s a career just like being a vp of sales, a garbage man, or a lawyer is a career.

I wish nothing but the best for Desme and wish him well in his new career. I am sure if he has any holes in his new career, he will correct them and figure it out.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Starting Rotation: American League West

January 20, 2010

Next up in the starting rotation series is the American League West. The West is a real interesting division in terms of starting rotations because there are so many young starting pitchers in this division.

This division is filled with pitchers in their mid-to-late 20’s. Pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, Jered Weaver, Brett Anderson make this division a nightmare for opposing batters.

Here are the starting rotations for each American League West team as presently constructed.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1. Jered Weaver, RHP

2. Joe Saunders, LHP

3. Ervin Santana, RHP

4. Scott Kazmir, LHP

5. Matt Palmer, RHP

Quick Take – This staff lost its No.1 starter in John Lackey, but has four pretty good starters to replace him. This is a big year for Weaver. He needs to step up and pitch to his potential for a full season. Kazmir was brought in to replace Lackey, so he needs to have a big year as well.

Texas Rangers

1. Scott Feldman, RHP

2. Rich Harden, RHP

3. Derek Holland, LHP

4. Tommy Hunter, RHP

5. Brandon McCarthy, RHP

Quick Take – This rotation is young, but has a ton of potential. Feldman is not your classic No.1 starter, but did go an impressive 17-8 last year with a 4.05 ERA and only gave up 178 hits in 189.2 IP. The Rangers need to find a way to keep Harden healthy, which is easier said than done.

Seattle Mariners

1. Felix Hernandez, RHP

2. Cliff Lee, LHP

3. Ian Snell, RHP

4. Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP

5. Doug Fister, RHP

Quick Take – When Lee is your No.2 starter, then you have the makings of a very, very good starting rotation. With Lee and Hernandez at the top of the rotation, they could win 35-40 games just by themselves. However, I have my doubts about the rest of the rotation. I still think they need to sign another pitcher.

Oakland A’s

1. Brett Anderson, LHP

2. Trevor Cahill, RHP

3. Justin Duchscherer, RHP

4. Vin Mazzaro, RHP

5. Dallas Braden, LHP

Quick Take – This rotation is very, very young. It’s so young that I feel they need a veteran in that rotation to lead them. Anderson and Cahill have the most potential on this staff and one of them needs to show some strides in 2010. The staff will be helped out by the A’s defensive additions this offseason.

Tomorrow, I will switch gears and look at the National League starting rotations. I’ll start with the National League East and work my way around.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Padres’ Jed Hoyer Makes First Deal, Trades Kouzmanoff To A’s

January 16, 2010

New San Diego Padres’ GM Jed Hoyer made his first trade on Friday night and it was quite an interesting one.

The Padres traded starting third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and minor league prospect Eric Sogard to the Oakland A’s for OF prospect Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston.

The "Kouz" is headed to northern California

This is a pretty interesting trade for both teams to let’s take a look at why both teams made this trade.

For the A’s, they get the third baseman they so desperately need. Let’s face it, Eric Chavez’s career is over. He is in the last year of his enormous contract with the A’s and he hasn’t been healthy in what seems like 10 years now.

The A’s have really been hamstrung by his contract (six-years, $66 million) and now that it is almost over, the A’s are free to pursue other options at third. Remember, they were in on Adrian Beltre to the last minute, so the acquisition of a third baseman shouldn’t come to a surprise to A’s fans or Chavez.

The A’s get a player in Kouzmanoff, who hit .255 last year with the Padres with 18 home runs and just a .302 OBP. He is not a classic Billy Beane type player, but Beane has been moving away from the classic Moneyball player recently and Kouzmanoff will bring stability to the third base position.

Over the last three years, Kouzmanoff has played in over 140 games each year, so he is the anti-Chavez. Kouzmanoff is also under the A’s control for the next three years, so the A’s acquired their third baseman of the future in this trade.

From the A’s perspective, Hairston and Cunningham were expendable because they have a surplus of outfielders in their organization. With the re-signing of Jack Cust, the signing of Coco Crisp, the trade for Michael Taylor, and with Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney already on the roster, the A’s didn’t need Hairston or Cunningham.

Kouzmanoff will make the A’s offense better, but not good enough to compete in the AL West in 2010. However, if prospects like Taylor, Jemile Weeks (brother of Rickie) and Chris Carter pan out and along with guys like Daric Barton, Sweeney, and Kouzmanoff, the A’s could have a nice offensive foundation for the future.

For the Padres, I think they made this deal for a couple of reasons.

By trading Kouzmanoff, this allows them to move Chase Headley from left field, where he was less than stellar, back to his natural position of third base. Headley is viewed as one of the Padres top, young players, so the Padres are doing everything they can to make sure Headley pans out.

In his first full year in the majors, Headley hit .262 with 12 home runs and a .734 OPS.

In return for Kouzmanoff, the Padres received Aaron Cunningham, who was the A’s fourth best prospect heading into 2009 according to Baseball America. Cunningham, a 23-year-old outfielder, hit .302 with 11 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and a .372 OBP in 83 games for Triple-A Sacramento last year.

He had a couple of stints with the A’s last year and hit .151 with one home run in 57 AB’s. With Kyle Blanks entrenched in left field, Cunningham could find himself battling with Will Venable (son of former Cincinnati Reds legend Max Venable) for the Padres’ starting right fielder’s job in 2010.

The Padres also received Hairston in the deal, who was traded from the Padres to the A’s last year. Hairston is nothing more than a fourth outfielder at this stage of his career. He could find himself in a platoon in center field with Tony Gwynn.

My initial reaction to this trade was that it was a good trade for the A’s. Even after writing this post and doing some research, that hasn’t changed.

Long-term this trade will be judged on the development of Cunningham. In the short-term, I like what Kouzmanoff brings to the A’s and the fact that he is under the A’s control for the next three years.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Starting Nine: American League West

January 13, 2010

The next division up in our Starting Nine series is the American League West. This division has undergone the most change from top to bottom this offseason, so it will be interesting to see which lineup looks the best headed into the season.

Here are the starting lineups as presently constructed for the American League West:

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1. Erick Aybar, SS

2. Bobby Abreu, RF

3. Torii Hunter, CF

4. Kendry Morales, 1B

5. Hideki Matsui, DH

6. Howie Kendrick, 2B

7. Juan Rivera, LF

8. Brandon Wood, 3B

9. Mike Napoli, C

Quick Take – This lineup will miss Chone Figgins at the top of the lineup to an expect, but despite the Angels’ losses, this lineup is still pretty deep. Any lineup that has Napoli batting ninth should be able to score some runs.

Seattle Mariners

1. Ichiro, RF

2. Chone Figgins, 3B

3. Milton Bradley, LF

4. Jose Lopez, 2B

5. Ken Griffey Jr. DH

6. Franklin Gutierrez, CF

7. Casey Kotchman, 1B

8. Jack Wilson, SS

9. Rob Johnson, C

Quick Take – This lineup after the first four hitters is pretty bad. I don’t care how many runs you prevent in the field, you need to score runs to win. The Mariners need a better DH than Griffey Jr.

Texas Rangers

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Michael Young, 3B

3. Josh Hamilton, LF

4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH

5. Nelson Cruz, RF

6. Chris Davis, 1B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Elvis Andrus, SS

9. Julio Borbon, CF

Quick Take – I love this lineup. I like Borbon in the nine-hole acting like a second leadoff hitter at the bottom of the lineup. The key to this lineup will be health.

Oakland A’s

1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Rajai Davis, LF

3. Ryan Sweeney, RF

4. Jack Cust, DH

5. Daric Barton, 1B

6. Kurt Suzuki, C

7. Eric Chavez, 3B

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Cliff Pennington, SS

Quick Take – This is the worst in the American League (yes, worse than the Kansas City Royals) and perhaps the worst in baseball. There isn’t a guy in this lineup that would start on the Baltimore Orioles. Michael Taylor better make it to the A’s soon.

Tomorrow, I will dive into the National League and look at the National League East.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

With Recent Moves, Russell Branyan’s Options Dwindling

January 8, 2010

After 11 years of injuries and being considered a bench player/pinch-hitter, Russell Branyan finally got everything he wanted in 2009.

For the first time in his major league career, Branyan got an opportunity to be an everyday player. In 2009 with the Seattle Mariners, Branyan played in a career high 116 games and had a career high 505 AB’s.

Branyan's options seem limited in 2010

In those 116 games, Branyan hit .251 with 31 home runs and an .867 OPS. His .867 OPS ranked seventh amongst American League first baseman.

It was a pretty good time for Branyan to have a career year as he was a free agent after the 2009 season. However, things haven’t gone according to plan since Branyan filed for file agency back in November.

Branyan thought he was worthy of a multi-year deal and rejected the Mariners’ one-year deal early in the free agent period. As it appears right now, the Mariners’ offer might have been Branyan’s best.

A lot of teams have filled their first base or DH hole with low-cost options this offseason limiting Branyan’s options. The Atlanta Braves filled their need by signing Troy Glaus, the Mariners traded for Casey Kotchman, and the A’s re-signed Jack Cust.

These moves, coupled with a bad back, have seriously limited Branyan’s options in 2010. So where could Branyan end up? Here are a couple of landing spots for the 34-year-old.

New York Mets – I don’t think they will go into the 2010 with Daniel Murphy as their first baseman. However, I would be shocked if the Mets didn’t bring back Carlos Delgado.

San Francisco Giants – GM Brian Sabean is talking about putting Juan Uribe in the starting lineup and moving Pablo Sandoval to first and Mark DeRosa to third. If the Giants come to their senses, they will leave Uribe in the utility role.

If this happens, the Giants could have an opening at first. Branyan would bring some power and some plate discipline to the lineup.

Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates have talked about moving Adam LaRoche to first once Pedro Alvarez is ready. However, Alvarez isn’t ready yet and the Pirates have an opening at first.

Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles would rather move Garrett Atkins to first, but if they can’t find another third baseman, then they will keep Atkins at third and look for a first baseman.

Like the Mets, they are interested in Delgado, but if they can’t land him Branyan could be a nice fallback option.

Kansas City Royals – I would give Kila Ka’aihue a chance, but I get the sense he is not a favorite of GM Dayton Moore. The Royals could leave Billy Butler at first and sign Branyan to be their DH.

So as you can see, Branyan doesn’t have too many options out there. If I was a betting man, I would say he ends up with the Giants.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Oakland A’s Bring Back Jack Cust

January 8, 2010

As much as Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane is trying to change the A’s into a more speedy, athletic team, he never misses an opportunity to go back to his Moneyball roots.

Yesterday, the A’s brought back a classic Moneyball player. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s have re-signed OF/DH Jack Cust to a one-year contract. The one-year deal is for $2.65 million plus incentives.

Cust will be back with the A's in 2010

After the A’s traded for Jake Fox and signed Coco Crisp, many including myself, didn’t think there was a chance that Cust returned to the A’s in 2010. But the A’s need power and Cust can certainly supply that.

Over the last three years, Cust has averaged 28 home runs a year and a .378 OBP. Though his OPS has dipped three years in a row, he probably becomes the A’s top power source in 2010.

My guess is Rajai Davis, Crisp, and Ryan Sweeney will play left, center, and right for the A’s in 2010. Daric Barton will play first base. And Cust will split time at DH with Fox, depending on the matchup.

Cust’s OPS was 200 points higher against right-handed pitching (.830 vs. .631), so playing him against righties and Fox against lefties makes the most sense. I think A’s fans will be happy just as long as Cust doesn’t see any part of the field.

Cust will be 31 next week and will be entering his ninth season in the major leagues. He has a career .239 average with 89 home runs and a .374 OBP.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg