Report: Astros, Jack Cust agree to one-year deal with club option

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UPDATE: Put the pitchforks and torches down, Astros fans.

Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Cust will get a one-year deal with a club option for 2013. While this is a little better than what we heard a few moments ago, most expected he wouldn’t get anything more than a spring training invite.

10:56 PM: Here’s a surprising one.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Astros and Jack Cust have agreed to terms a two-year contract. You heard me right. The very same Jack Cust who batted just .213 with three home runs, 87 strikeouts and a .673 OPS over 270 plate appearances before being released by the Mariners last August.

Rosenthal speculates that Cust could be an option at designated hitter when the Astros move to the American League in 2013, but that doesn’t make this deal any less of a head-scratcher. The dude turned 33 years old yesterday, can’t play defense and his flyball and contact rates have dipped in each of the last two seasons. Two years for that? Even assuming it’s at a minimal cost, I’m stumped.

The only explanation I can come up with is that Sig Mejdal, the Astros’ new director of decision sciences, must be on vacation this week.

It’s official: Brandon Hyde named new Orioles manager

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It was not a secret that the Orioles wanted Cubs coach Brandon Hyde as their new manager. Reports swirled three days ago that he was going to get the job, though the Orioles denied it, calling them “premature.” Now, however, it’s official: the Orioles just announced that Hyde will be their new manager.

Hyde, 45, spent four seasons as a player in the minors with the White Sox from 1997-2000, then played in the independent Western League in 2001 before ending his playing career. He was a coach with the Marlins from 2010-12 and has been with the Cubs since 2013, most recently as their bench coach.

Hyde takes over for Buck Showalter, who led the Orioles from 2010-18. Last season Baltimore finished 47-115, posting its worst record in team history. To say that Hyde’s order is a tall one is an understatement.