Originally written on Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest  |  Last updated 10/17/14

I mentioned Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jorge Vazquez on Saturday as possible options for the Yankees Designated Hitter position.

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff adds Jack Cust and Raul Ibanez to the mix as their agents have contacted the Yankees.

The reps for Jack Cust, Vladimir Guerrero & Raul Ibanez have contacted the #Yankees about their DH opening.Tue Jan 17 22:57:25 via webKen Davidoff

Cust would be an interesting story as he grew up across the river in New Jersey. He’s the prototypical “Moneyball” player as he hits for a ton of power, gets on base via the walk, and strikes out a ridiculous amount of the time. During his tenure in Oakland he hit as many as 33 HRs in a season, but averaged over  160 strikeouts each year, with a high of 197 in 2008. He has a solid 119 OPS+ for his career. Last year in Seattle he struggled, hitting only .213 with 3 HRs in 270 plate appearances. He is a left handed bat that holds his own against LHP, but could very well be done. Cust would have to go the minor league invite route if he were going to win a job with the team.

Ibanez would probably be looking for a guaranteed big league deal with incentives. It appears he left most of his game in the first half of 2009, when he hit 22 HRs and had an OPS over 1.000 his first four months with the Phillies. Since then age has taken its toll as he’s struggled against LHP and did most of his damage in Citizen’s Bank Park in 2011.

According to reports, the Yankees only want to spend $1-2 million on a Designated Hitter. That probably prices them out on Guerrero. Maybe the most likely candidate under that budget is Hideki Matsui.

What do you think about Cashman signing Matsui and platoon him with Andruw Jones?


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