Raul Ibanez hasn’t exactly had a great spring and Russell Branyan, who was supposed to be an insurance policy, has been injured all spring. So the Yankees, perhaps thinking they needed to re-up their insurance policy, have decided to sign free agent DH Jack Cust to a minor league deal, according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN.
Cust really isn’t much to get excited about at age 33. He has solid patience at the plate and can hit for power, but his skills have dropped off quite a bit in recent years. Last season he had a solid .344 OBP, but a poor .673 OPS.
Brought in to potentially be the DH against righties, he had just a .347 OBP and a .691 OPS against them last year. In his career against them though he has a .383 OBP and a .849 OPS. In 2010, for example, Cust had a .410 OBP and .880 OPS against righties. So if he can get going again, he can be a real asset to the DH platoon if they cut Ibanez.
Look for him to start the season in Triple-A and get a quick call up if Ibanez continues to struggle.