Not only is Jon Singleton on his way to Houston, it looks like the first-baseman of the future is going to be staying for awhile. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports broke the news that the Astros have inked the top 1B prospect in all of baseball to a multi-year contract.
Source: Astros, minor league 1B Jon Singleton agree on historic long-term deal. $10M guaranteed, up to $35M. News coming on Yahoo Sports.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 2, 2014
Singleton becomes the first player ever to sign a long term, multi-million dollar contract before playing in a single game in the big leagues. If, for some reason, things don’t work out, the national media is going to have a field day with this one.
But, in reality, $10 million isn’t a big risk when it comes to major league contracts. The Astros signed journeyman right-hander Scott Feldman to a 3-year, $30 million deal last offseason. Five years worth of Singleton (supposing he lasts that long) for the same money as one year’s worth of Feldman seems like a bargain — no disrespect to Feldman intended.
Passan reports that the contract also includes three (team) option years worth another $20 to$25 million. If things do end up working out, this could be a huge bargain for the Astros.
Although he has consistently posted outstanding numbers throughout his minor league career, Singleton comes with his own special set of risk factors. Singleton served a 50-game suspension at the beginning of the 2013 season after testing positive for marijuana for the second time. For the remainder of 2013, Singleton dealt with struggles both on and off the field.
In an interview this spring, Jon told Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press that he considered himself a drug addict. An offseason stint in rehab and continued support from the Astros seems to be working for the 22-year old. Singleton went to the Puerto Rican Winter League to work on his game and wound up leading the league with nine homeruns. Jon continued to mash at AAA Oklahoma City, forcing his way onto the big league roster.
The Jonathan Singleton era in Houston officially begins tomorrow when he joins fellow rookie George Springer in the Astros lineup against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A corresponding move will need to be made to make room for Singleton on the Astros active roster. Marc Krauss is expected to be sent down to AAA, effectively switching places with Singleton.