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Report: Astros call up top prospect Jon Singleton and sign him to long-term contract worth up to $35 million

Jun 2, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT

Jonathan Singleton Getty Getty Images

Six weeks after calling up George Springer from Triple-A the Astros are set to promote another stud hitting prospect to the big leagues, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that first baseman Jon Singleton is on his way up from Triple-A.

And here’s where it gets even more interesting: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Astros and Singleton have agreed to a long-term contract that guarantees him at least $10 million and could be worth up to $35 million. Handing out long-term deals to inexperienced players has become increasingly popular in recent years, but to do so the day you call a prospect up from the minors is taking things to another level.

Houston reportedly tried to do that same thing with Springer before calling him up and Pittsburgh is said to have tried to do the same with Gregory Polanco, but both of those prospects balked at the idea. Passan says if the Astros pick up all three options in the deal they’ll control Singleton through his first year of free agency.

Singleton was acquired from the Phillies in the mid-2011 trade for Hunter Pence and ranked as a top-100 prospect according to Baseball America and heading into this season. He’s improved his stock further by hitting .267 with 14 homers and a .941 OPS in 54 games at Triple-A as a 22-year-old, making big strides with his strike zone control to lead the Pacific Coast League with 42 walks.

Houston’s first basemen have been awful this season, hitting a combined .181 with five homers and a .561 OPS in 58 games, so it won’t take a whole lot for Singleton to provide a big upgrade. Meanwhile, after struggling initially Springer is hitting .259 with 10 homers and an .844 OPS in 41 games overall, playing a huge part in the Astros’ recent turnaround.

  1. schmedley69 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    From now on, the Hunter Pence trade will be referred to as “that #@!&%$ Hunter Pence trade” by Phillies fans.

    • southpaw2k - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      You mean they haven’t already been doing that for nearly three years now?

      • schmedley69 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Some us have, but for some people it won’t sink in until Singleton makes an impact in the Majors. Either way, Amaro should be fired for that trade alone.

      • toodrunktotastethischicken - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        The fact they shipped him off to San Fran for barely half of what they gave up for him alone is enough to make my skin crawl.

      • schmedley69 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        And then Amaro signs Delmon Young to replace Pence. Just a complete train wreck of a move from start to finish.

    • jsala02 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Singleton, Cosart, Santana, and Zeid. Ed Wade deserves credit for that

      • chew1985 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:36 AM

        And Travis D’Arnaud.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Said it before and will say it again. Aggregately, the Phillies made out better with the guys they received than the guys they traded away. You can’t zero in on one trade – don’t forget, Svengali Pat Gillick traded Gavin Floyd AND Gio Gonzalez for Freddy Garcia and his 1 win. And on the Pence trade – hell, if they did better trading Pence away in 2012, it would not hurt as much. Not to mention – lets not go anointing Singleton as the savior just yet.

      That trade doesn’t bother me at all. Not drafting well for 6 years – THAT bothers me

      • paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        This is fair. They spent some of their future for a better present. Those teams were very good. Those trades aren’t what are holding down the Phillies currently so much as the insistence of their GM to put off rebuilding by believing that this team has one more run left in it….every year they wait and every guy they hang on to for too long (reducing the return in prospect they could have got in return) just adds time to the rebuilding effort.

        Teams like the Cubs and Astros are far closer to competing that Philly because they sold out on the rebuild and hired the kinds of people you need to turn around a frachise.

    • blabidibla - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      I remember at the time PHI fans thanking the Giants for taking him off their hands.

      • schmedley69 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Pence did not play well for the Phillies in 2012. I think that he put too much pressure on himself with Howard and Utley being out.

  2. kinggator - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Coz The Boys In The Hood Are Always Hard
    You Come Talkin That Trash, We’ll Pull Ya Card
    Knowin’ Nutin In Life But To Be Legit’
    Dont Quote Me Boy Coz I Aint Said …..

    Astros in 2020!!

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:12 PM


  3. spyder9669 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Isn’t this the guy that called somebody gay on twitter? What a model professional this guy should turn out to be.

    • jerze2387 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      Put on your big girl panties and get over it

    • whmiv21 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      He’s also the guy with the marijuana addiction. As long as he produces, I don’t think the Astros care.

      • paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Plus, you can’t get tested for weed in the majors. That is probably an under appreciated aspect of this deal.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Except didn’t he give up weed and became an alcoholic?

  4. thekingdave - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Awesome, about time. First base has been a black hole for us, which is saying something.

  5. thekcubrats - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM


  6. chc4 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Look at the bright side Philly fans, you have Ryan Howard at first base for the next 3 years so who needs Singleton? Doh!

    • greymares - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      If Singleton produces at 1/4 of what Howard has done you might have something

      • chc4 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        I’m referring to the Howard of today at his current salary. Not the guy that was good several years ago.

      • DJ MC - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        If you’re talking about outs, there’s definitely a real possibility.

  7. paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Not a great deal for the player, great deal for the team. If he fizzles or flames out, it’ll cost them only $10M, if he becomes an average or better 1B, it is a steal at $35M for 8 years, if he is an All-Star it is highway robbery.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      You sure about the 8 years? I read he only gives up one year of FA

      And if that is all he gave up (Arb and one year FA) – not a bad role of the dice at all. He is only 22

      • paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Yeah. Teams have 7 years of control (effectively), as a player has to have AT LEAST 6 full seasons of experience to be eligible for FA. The deal is for 5 years with 3 options, so it is the 7 years of control (which includes 2014) and 1 year of FA….thus being 30 when the contract is up.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        So 8 including 2014 – makes sense then.

    • stex52 - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      He is guaranteed to make 10 MM$. And Singleton is a big risk at this point. He has some serious maturity problems. I see this as high on the risk scale for the Astros. That is why the seemingly good deal for them.

      I hope he collects every bit of the 35 MM$. But they are assuming a risk with him.

  8. toodrunktotastethischicken - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Pretty exciting to finally see some positive results for the Astros from all these moves the past 3 years

  9. nottinghamforest13 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Good to see Bo Porter’s bias towards antiquated philosophies didn’t derail this career like so many others. Time will tell if he can continue to rise above the forces actively working against him.

  10. hittfamily - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    They used to say that the Astros were following the Rays model in rebuilding. Now that Houston has passed them in the standings, is it now that the Rays are following the Astros model?

    • kinggator - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      The Stro’s need to make the playoffs and W.S. before that’s true; but I think Houston is looking forward to playing the Rays at this point in the season.

      • hittfamily - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        Trade off talent for prospects. Tank for the first overall pick next year. As a Rays fan, I hope that is what we do, which is following the Astro’s model. The injury bug bit us hard, and our stars are underperforming big time. Sean Rodriguez is leading the Rays in homers. Sean Rodriguez has 93 PA!

        Price: C-ya!
        Zobrist: C-ya
        Dejesus: C-ya
        Joyce: C:ya
        Balfour: C:ya
        McGee: C:ya

        That ought to net a few top 100’s and a lot of other nice pieces.

  11. jeffa43 - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Its about time we get past the dark hole at first base… and I will smoke to this news!

    Now lets give Springer Trout type money, and lock him up. As fans we have dealt with 400 losses in 4 seasons, and we would like to make sure we are set for the future.

    Lock up George Dinger…. The splendid Springer is a once in a lifetime talent… Lets ensure this dynasty in the making.

    Heck to the same for Correa when he is close….. Bring up Folty…. We are only 7 out of 2nd, and the halos are about to fall.. Miracle wild card birth in the plans!

    Nobody wants to face this starting pitching in the playoffs? We are too young, to know we should not be there…. A’s. Rays…. you feel me Stros fans…. LOCK UP GEORGE DINGER!

    • stex52 - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      Springer has the potential to be very good. Maybe extremely good. But the K’s have to come down. No hurry. He doesn’t want the lockup money, and the Astros have lots of time to set him a good deal. I see more of a player in the Carlos Gomez mold. When he gets to 20% K’s, then he is worth the big deal.

      And I put him on my fantasy team, so don’t say I’m negative. But the Astros don’t have to hurry on him.

      • jeffa43 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Hope all is well Stex… First 18 games to last 18 games, his K’s dropped in half…

        I hope that will continue… Take care my man, and enjoy this run.

  12. bkool37 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    PHI should really consider trading Utley soon I think his return value could be really good. There are several competing teams that would like his contract with a 2M 2016 buyout.

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