Phillies sign Mariners castoff Jack Cust to minor-league deal

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Released by the Mariners last week, Jack Cust has signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

If he makes it back to the majors Cust will have gained 27 games in the standings by going from Seattle to Philadelphia, but he’d be no more than a bench bat for the Phillies and the defensively challenged left-handed hitter landing in the NL is a surprise.

Cust still has very good on-base skills, drawing 44 walks in 270 plate appearances, but that comes with a low batting average, tons of strikeouts, diminished power, and poor speed from a guy whose best position is designated hitter.

With that said, his extreme patience and high on-base percentages make Cust a solid pinch-hitting option even if his 25-homer pop is gone for good and it’s a worthwhile flier for the Phillies.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.