Jack Cust

Mariners hold on to Jack Cust, demote Carlos Peguero

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Expectations were that Mike Carp would get another chance soon, but it won’t come at Jack Cust’s expense.  The Mariners demoted Carlos Peguero to Triple-A to make room for Carp after Sunday’s loss to the Rangers.

The struggling Seattle offense totaled just two runs while the team was swept by the Rangers in a four-game series.

Cust played only once in the series, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Friday’s loss.  He’s 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts and three walks during July.  For the season as a whole, his OBP stands at .348, easily the high mark of anyone who has spent the whole season with Seattle.  However, he’s hitting just .207 with three homers and 23 RBI in 208 at-bats.  Even with the solid OBP, he’s scored a total of 17 runs.

Peguero was way overmatched at the major league level, even if he did manage to hit six homers in 143 at-bats.  He had a .196 average and a 54/8 K/BB ratio in 143 at-bats.

Carp, a natural first baseman, has seen most of his playing time in left field this year, but the Mariners chose Peguero over him last month because of his issues defensively.  He’d seem to be the natural replacement in the DH slot for Cust.  However, since the Mariners aren’t giving up on Cust yet, he’ll instead battle Greg Halman for playing time in left field.

Carp was hitting .341/.410/.651 with 21 homers and 64 RBI in 65 games for Triple-A Tacoma.  He went 7-for-35 with no RBI in his time with the Mariners last month.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.