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Rays Sign Jack Cust to Minor League Deal

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Well, this was a pleasant surprise.

Hannah Foslien

There was some hot stove action on what has been a chilly morning for the Rays. Just in time for the first day of full workouts in Port Charlotte, it was announced this morning that the Rays have signed left handed DH/OF Jack Cust to a minor league deal.

Cust has spent the majority of his playing career on the west coast, and last played in the majors for the Mariners in 2011 - where his OPS+ dropped from 130 to 96. A high-walk, high-strikeout player, he owns a career .242/.374/.439 slash line with a slight emphasis toward his natural split.

Cust was known for being a slugger during his tenure with the Athletics (from '07-'10), boasting 25+ homeruns in his age 28-30 seasons - and he hasn't lost his stroke yet, either. He accumulating 20 homeruns for the Yankee's AAA affiliate in 2012 before being released after 98 games.

The 34 year-old Cust reported this morning to the Rays complex - wearing number 15 - making him the 66th position player in Spring Training.

Cust fulfills the back-up designated hitter role Hideki Matsui played in 2012, and profiles as Durham's every day DH. (Sorry, Vogt.)

UPDATE: The Rays uploaded a video this afternoon of Cust discussing why he chose to sign in Tampa Bay.