The Houston Astros have agreed to a historical five-year contract with Triple-A first baseman Jon Singleton that includes a three-year club option.
Yahoo Sports Major League Baseball columnist Jeff Passan reported the news Monday:
The Astros later made the deal official:
Passan explains the details of the deal and breaks down the significance:
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports more on the money involved:
MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo provides some sentiment from around the league:
CBSSports.com baseball writer Jon Heyman confirms the length of the deal and provides some additional context:
Singleton, a native of Harbor City, California, is only 22 years old and is ranked No. 42 on MLB.com's top 2014 prospects list. Passan notes Singleton would be 30 years old by the end of this contract:
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow hinted at the possibility of Singleton moving up to the bigs last month when he told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart the following:
Singleton's progressing. We see him as a guy who's close to being able to contribute at the Major League level. We're excited. We've all seen the reaction the fans had at bringing up prospects like [George] Springer and last year with [Jarred] Cosart and we have more coming. I would say Singleton is on deck.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes the Astros tried this with rookie slugger George Springer:
Prior to agreeing to the lengthy deal with Houston, Singleton was making plenty of noise with the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Pacific Coast League, batting .267 with 14 home runs and 43 RBI in 54 games, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
While Singleton's deal is sure to raise eyebrows across the majors, no one will accuse the Astros of not trying. After all, Houston is on pace for a fourth straight last-place finish in 2014, and the team hasn't reached the playoffs since it was swept in the 2005 World Series.
There's no guarantee Singleton will live up to his long-term contract or serve as a catalyst of the club's long-awaited turnaround, but by inking the emerging infielder, Luhnow and the Astros are generating optimism for the future.
Nonetheless, by investing so much money in Singleton, the Astros will either be lauded for making such a bold move or chastised if the slugger doesn't pan out years from now.
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