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Signing Of Jack Cust Is Like Saber-Hazing For Luhnow

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You may have heard about the Astros signing Jack Cust late Tuesday to a non-guaranteed $600,000 deal with an option for 2013. You may have also heard that new Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is a numbers geek, like those guys at FanGraphs and Bill James.

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Add in that Cust does all the things stat geeks love, like hit home runs and walk a lot, and it sure seems like Luhnow had to sign Cust on some sort of dare. After all, it was uber-GM Brad Pitt...er, Billy Beane who played him first in Oakland. Then, Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik got him last season, confirming his reputation as a new saber-darling GM.

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So, my question is, did these other GMs dare Luhnow to sign him? Was it part of some elaborate hazing ritual Sandy Alderson held to induct him into the Modern GM Club? Was he just trying to prove how little he cared about defense?

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Either way, it was an interesting move. Cust probably won't be a big player next season for Houston, but the kind of player Houston is targeting appears to be changing. Which is the best news I've had in a while.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.