Last offseason the A’s non-tendered Jack Cust rather than pay him around $4 million via the arbitration process, only to re-sign him a month later for $2.6 million. And now Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Oakland may non-tender him again by tomorrow night’s deadline.
Cust was better in 2010 than he was in 2009, hitting .272 with a .395 on-base percentage and .834 OPS in 112 games, but his power has declined over the past two seasons and the A’s may want to invest the $4 million or so he’d likely be in line for in a different designated hitter option such as Lance Berkman.
Lee notes that Kevin Kouzmanoff and Edwin Encarnacion are also non-tender candidates, although presumably the A’s would keep one of them as the starting third baseman.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.