Jack Cust essentially finalized the roster for the Tampa Bay Rays' camp for spring. The team was waiting on Luke Scott to arrive (which he subsequently did), but with Scott and the addition of Cust, the camp is now full. The Rays signed Cust to a minor league deal earlier today and he will join the club's Major League camp for the spring.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times had the news earlier this morning. The deal allows the Rays to evaluate Cust during the spring without having to commit a Major League roster spot to him. Cust can, of course, win a spot on the 25-man roster if he performs well during spring training.
Related: More on the Cust deal.
Cust did not play in the Majors at all last season. He played 114 games at Triple-A combined between the New York Yankees' and Arizona Diamondbacks' organizations. Cust last played in the Majors in 2011 with the Seattle Mariners. He played in 67 games that season and hit .213/.344/.329.
Cust, 34, was the 30th pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in their inaugural draft of 1997. He didn't quite pan out the way many scouts had hoped. Prior to the 2000 season, Cust was rated the 31st best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. In total, Cust has played in 10 Major League seasons. He is a career .242/.374/.439.
The Rays are hoping the veteran outfielder can inspire some competition during camp. He may be able to add some depth as well. The Rays, like most teams last year, were hit hard with injuries. Should the same thing happen in 2013, Cust could provide a nice boost out of the minor league system. He's proven he can hit with power and get on base in his career. It will be just a matter of proving he can still do those things.