The Astros part ways with former top prospect Jon Singleton.
The writing was on the wall when Jon Singleton received his 100-game suspension this offseason. In his final year of guaranteed money, Singleton is no longer a part of the Astros system. According to Brian McTaggart, he has been released. This is not an outcome that many predicted when he made his debut back in 2014.
George Springer and Jon Singleton, later Carlos Correa joined the group, were a beacon of hope during the process. Some may include Jarred Cosart, but he never lived up to expectations with the Astros as well. When these players started arriving, then we would have a major league team again.
After Springer’s successful debut in 2014, Singleton was the next up. The Astros reportedly tried to offer Springer a multi-year deal before him making his debut. However, Springer declined, as did Matt Dominguez and Robbie Grossman. Thank goodness for the latter two players not accepting that deal.
That didn’t stop the Astros from trying, and they finally got someone to bite. Slugging first base prospect, Singleton accepted a team friendly 5-year 10 million dollar deal through 2018 and team options through 2021. Many MLB players criticized Singleton for accepting that deal, but it paid off for him. The Astros are on the hook for the prorated $2 million for 2018 with the suspension. He will not put an Astros jersey on ever again.
The next step?
Hopefully, Singleton can beat his drug of abuse and jump on to another team. If anyone needed a change of scenery, it was Singleton after being stashed in Double-A. You could see him try to join an independent league team like the Sugar Land Skeeters. Many MLB players have used the Skeeters as a way of rebuilding a career.
Power was never the issue; it was there. While players like Adam Dunn have had success with low batting averages with homers, they typically walk more and offer other assets. For whatever reason, Singleton never found that consistency. A career .171 hitter in the big leagues, he hasn’t played in an MLB game since October 2nd, 2015.
The Astros made the playoffs in 2015, raising the expectations for players. If you didn’t perform, they would find someone else. You can’t blame the Astros for trying to extend him before his debut. The Phillies did something similar with Scott Kingery, signing him to a six-year deal for $24 million. He has struggled somewhat, batting .214 with two homers and four steals.
We may see teams stop gambling with extensions before they play one game in the MLB. Most experts expected good things from Singleton. The Astros are still on the hook for a $1 million buyout for the next three years. I know Singleton was not popular among Astros fans, but I still wish him the best.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***