Free-agent slugger Jack Cust and the Mariners agreed to a one-year contract Wednesday, giving Seattle a veteran designated hitter heading into 2011.
Cust confirmed the agreement worth $2.5 million pending his passing a physical later this week.
Cust spent the past four seasons with Seattle’s A.L. West rival Oakland and likely will become the Mariners’ regular DH, though he also provides versatility for new manager Eric Wedge with the ability to play the outfield.
“I’ve seen Jack play for, again, a long time from the other side of the diamond,” Wedge said Wednesday at the meetings in Florida. “He’s a tremendous talent. We’re just going to have to see how it plays out.
“When we talk about what we’re trying to do offensively, you can hear me talk about quality at-bats, good at-bats, strong at-bats, making good outs. Working and making it tough on that pitcher. I think he does a lot of that.”
The Athletics didn’t offer a contract to Cust last week, making him a free agent. He hit .272 with 13 homers and 52 RBIs in 112 games last season. He added 68 walks for a .395 on-base percentage.
Cust began last season with Triple-A Sacramento before being called up in mid-May. The A’s designated Cust for assignment after spring training, then he cleared waivers and reported to Triple-A. That was after he hit a team-high 25 homers for Oakland in 2009, but also led the AL in strikeouts for the third consecutive season (164, 197, 185).
The 31-year-old Cust is a career .245 hitter with 102 homers and 300 RBIs in parts of parts of nine major league seasons.