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:
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
The Astros later made the deal official:
#Astros officially sign 1B Jon Singleton to a 5-year contract (2014-18) with 3 club option years (2019-21). He will be in uniform tomorrow.— Houston Astros (@astros) June 2, 2014
Passan explains the details of the deal and breaks down the significance:
Jon Singleton deal covers five guaranteed seasons and includes three club options for the Astros. He will be called up immediately from AAA.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 2, 2014
Singleton is first player with zero ML service time to sign such an extension. Astros have tried with other players. This time, it worked.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 2, 2014
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports more on the money involved:
Singleton gets $30M guaranteed if #astros exercise 3 option years. Can increase to $35M with bonuses and awards.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 2, 2014
MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo provides some sentiment from around the league:
Agent: "Sosnick is always looking to lock players up to protect himself so his players cant leave. Not in the best interest of the players."— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 2, 2014
CBSSports.com baseball writer Jon Heyman confirms the length of the deal and provides some additional context:
astros 1b prospect jon singleton agrees to $10M 5-year contract with 3 club options. could be worth $35M. @JeffPassan 1st— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 2, 2014
singleton deal modeled after matt adams deal ($8M, 4 yrs). JS interesting case: big talent, no mlb time, past weed issue— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 2, 2014
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:
Singleton gives up one year of FA with this deal. If Astros pick up all three options, he’s still on the market at 30 years old.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 2, 2014
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:
Springer and other younger #Astros rejected deals similar to the one that Singleton is signing.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 2, 2014
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.
What do you make of Jon Singleton's deal?
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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