TUESDAY: Singleton has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, Kaplan tweets.
SATURDAY: The Astros placed first baseman Jon Singleton on outright waivers yesterday, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter links). Kaplan expects Singleton to clear waivers when eligible on Tuesday, and Singleton will then be outrighted to Triple-A, and off the Astros’ 40-man roster.
Once considered one of the top minor leaguers in the sport, Singleton was the centerpiece of the prospect package sent by the Phillies to the Astros in July 2011 for Hunter Pence. Houston even signed Singleton to a five-year, $10MM extension prior to his major league debut in 2014, a deal that drew quite a bit of controversy given how it was perceived by some (including the MLBPA) as Singleton signing away quite a bit of future earning potential.
As it turned out, Singleton may have done well to lock down a big payday given his struggles over the last few years. He hit just .171/.290/.331 over 420 plate appearances in 2014-15 and he didn’t play in the bigs at all in 2016, instead spending the year at Triple-A Fresno and hitting .202/.337/.390 over 501 PA. That batting line is particularly concerning given that Singleton was playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
With A.J. Reed, Tyler White, Yulieski Gurriel and Brian McCann all looking like first base options on Houston’s major league roster, one has to wonder if Singleton’s time in the organization is coming to an end. As Kaplan noted, Singleton isn’t likely to be claimed by another team since the Astros still owe him $2MM in each of the next two years (plus a $500K buyout of his $2.5MM option for 2019).