Last night former Houston Astros pitcher and one of my favorite players no matter what uniform he’s wearing (just keep it out of Oakland) tweeted about his displeasure with the recent contract given to Astros new first baseman Jon Singleton. Bud Norris said on Twitter that the 5-year/$10 million dollar deal is “terrible.”
Norris’ thoughts were echoed today by former Major League pitcher and current ESPN analyst Mark Mulder.
The player’s frustrations — especially Mulder — are a tad ironic. The lefty’s career was ended well short at age 28 after rotator cuff surgery and further arm problems began in 2006.
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Norris *knock on wood* has dodged the growing epidemic of arm troubles in baseball, but his tweet indicates that Jon Singleton and his agent shouldn’t have taken anything up front and pushed for a more lucrative contract for the 22-year old top prospect.
Bud Norris has always been a talented player, but was never a top prospect like Singleton or a pitcher like Mulder, and as a player who was receiving the league minimum until age 28 — when he received a $3 million dollar contract from the Astros and got an additional 1-year $5.3 million dollar deal this season from the Baltimore Orioles — makes this tweet from Norris a little confusing.
The issue with Singleton’s contract is from two ends. First, the one that isn’t really rubbing anyone the wrong way. That being he has $10 million dollars guaranteed and has never played in a Major League game.
The real hot topic though, the one causing the tweets from Norris and Mulder, is that Jon Singleton’s deal is incredibly club friendly and not exactly player friendly, which of course the MLB Players Union isn’t happy about anyone getting less than they should. They clearly missed the memo that owners run sports, not players. See: Any Lockout.
Jonathan Singleton comes into the bigs with a ton of hype and even more potential. One day this contract could and will probably be a huge bargain. By the very off chance MLB.Com’s top ranked 2014 first base prospect is a bust (it’s only happened a million times before) then he will still be very well off financially than if he waited things out on a pro-rated contract of about $500,000 and risked such failure or worse, injury.
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The 5-year contract worth $10 million dollars comes with three club options, making the deal even more beneficial to the Astros, who are of course expecting huge things from their newest hot shot call-up. The team control options are super valuable in sports, but if Singleton earns those options in the next five seasons, he can reportedly earn another $20 to $25 million. Even after potentially eight seasons on this same exact contract, Jon Singleton will be eligible for free agency at age 30, and it doesn’t get much more ‘prime of your career’ than that in baseball.
Bud Norris is still one of my favorite players, and Mark Mulder is an excellent rookie broadcaster, but the histories of these players makes it seem a little erroneous that they would publicly go after the Houston Astros organization and Jon Singleton like this.