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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Astros’ Jon Singleton, Dean Deetz suspended

Remember when Singleton was criticized for taking such a below market deal?

First baseman Jon Singleton—the team’s former No. 1 prospect who spent all of last season at Double-A Corpus Christi—has received a 100-game suspension without pay after a third positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:00 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, jon singleton

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   1. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 24, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5612306)
Singleton was a genius for signing that 5-year/$10million deal during his debut season back in 2014:

                                                      
Year    Age   Tm   Lg   G  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2014     22  HOU   AL  95 362 .168 .285 .335 .620   76
2015     23  HOU   AL  19  58 .191 .328 .298 .625   77
2 Yr   2 Yr 2 Yr 2 Yr 114 420 .171 .290 .331 .621   76


He's already collected $7.5million from it, and will be due another $500,000 buyout at some point, regardless of his suspension.

   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5612313)
Today I learned that the Astros have a $13M team option on Singleton for the 2021 season. I wonder whether they'll pick it up.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 24, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5612315)
Singleton's suspensions have all been for weed, right? I would have to think that's a pretty good counterexample to the whole "you can't get addicted" thing. Assuming it is weed, if you can't/won't stop using up to the point of a major suspension from your job, you're probably addicted.
   4. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 24, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5612317)
This is a great way for the Astros to save some money. Hire drug dealers and whatnot to tempt Singleton into breaking the rules and getting suspended. Oh please, don't suspend our beloved player Jon Singleton for 50 games. Why not 500 games? Teach him a lesson.
   5. HOLLA(R) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5612323)
Singleton has openly stated that he has an addiction before, and has been to rehab. Hopefully MLB and the Astros get him some help, rather than just straight punishment.

Article here.
   6. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5612332)

Alternatively, MLB and the Astros should mind their own business; what Singleton does on his own time is none of their concern.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5612343)
Remember when Singleton was criticized for taking such a below market deal?

Well, if you're going to be a drug addict, you should probably lock up whatever guarantee you can.
   8. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 24, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5612360)
Wow, I didn't know all that about him addressing the issue in 2014.

You always hear that marijuana isn't addictive, but it's not exactly right. Yet you can be perfectly functional in your job while being addicted to it. And then, unlike when you're addicted to alcohol, you lose your job anyway. See also Larry Sanders in the NBA.
   9. Bug Selig Posted: January 24, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5612411)
The pot lobby just isn't as good as the booze lobby.
   10. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5612483)
Meh - anything and everything can be addictive... I think the distinction is made between mental addiction and physical addiction (complicated, of course, by the fact there's an awful lot of remaining unknowns about brain chemistry on the mental side). Singleton's clearly got the Jackie Brown Bridgett Fonda thing going on... but, of course, he'd have an easier time breaking his pot addiction than other substances that would include physical withdrawal and medical care to ween him off pot.

I do agree with David in #6 -- but that said, Singleton obviously had some serious baseball skills at one point and it's probably fair to say being a regular (I'm guessing) toker hasn't exactly been good for his development. Inverse to that, though - I know more than a few very active and very athletic people who partake regularly.

SSS, but back in college - I hung out with a lot of guys on the swim team and yeesh, it was a veritable cheech and chong film. They always had the best stashes and used to do (non-sponsored, of course) team building events that were... rather green. Based on the news of our various Olympians and their paparazzi fueled appearances, it sure seems like they weren't outliers.

Despite the fact that all varsity teams were subject to the same testing regimens - football players seemed to be the most abstention-based athletes... they were paranoid about even being in the same room where such smoke might be wafting.
   11. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5612484)
The pot lobby just isn't as good as the booze lobby.


The pot lobbyists are all outside the capitol building playing frisbee while another round of Martinis are being mixed for a dozen senators at lunchtime.
   12. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5612492)
It's been all downhill for him since Boyz N the Hood.
   13. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5612498)
It's been all downhill for him since Boyz N the Hood.


Blame Ice "Friday" Cube for that...
   14. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5612501)
I do agree with David in #6 -- but that said, Singleton obviously had some serious baseball skills at one point and it's probably fair to say being a regular (I'm guessing) toker hasn't exactly been good for his development. Inverse to that, though - I know more than a few very active and very athletic people who partake regularly.

There was a story linked here in 2017 that estimated that a majority (25-75%) of MLB players smoke. So I don't think it has any impact on baseball skills. Unless that's the real reason Bonds was so dominating at the end of his career, he was only one not high.

Edit: Apparently Singleton's name comes up in that thread.
   15. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5612517)
SSS, but back in college - I hung out with a lot of guys on the swim team and yeesh, it was a veritable cheech and chong film. They always had the best stashes and used to do (non-sponsored, of course) team building events that were... rather green. Based on the news of our various Olympians and their paparazzi fueled appearances, it sure seems like they weren't outliers.


Swimmers are always the hardest partiers and the most out of control from what I can tell. I think it's something about the type of background that usually gets into swimming. Usually it's a upper middle class type ready to let loose once they get on campus or away from the authority of an overly strict household. DIII doesn't piss test thankfully for those guys I hung out with. And thankfully for myself and others on the baseball team.

   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5612519)
There was a story linked here in 2017 that estimated that a majority (25-75%) of MLB players smoke.

It's hard to trust any estimate with that wide a range. It's like saying the Twins are going to win between 50 and 110 games this year.
   17. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5612533)
It's hard to trust any estimate with that wide a range. It's like saying the Twins are going to win between 50 and 110 games this year.

I don't think that's an argument to not trust the estimate. The Twins are almost certainly going to win between 50 and 110 games a year. It may not have the specificity to be of much value, but it is plausible and suggests that lots of guys in the Majors are getting high.

I should not have written "majority" though. I wrote that before I found and reviewed the article.
   18. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5612542)
There was a story linked here in 2017 that estimated that a majority (25-75%) of MLB players smoke. So I don't think it has any impact on baseball skills. Unless that's the real reason Bonds was so dominating at the end of his career, he was only one not high.


I would doubt casual use has any impact... but based on Singleton's issues and his own, prior admissions, I don't think he'd qualify as 'casual' (IOW - setting aside the first timer freaked out he's doomed to an alleyway, I think a good rule of thumb would be that if you personally suspect you have a problem, then you probably do. I.e., if you're concerned that a leisure habit is affecting your personal/professional/etc achievement - it's a decent bet you are at least somewhat correct).

Without going back to prior Singleton statements, my recollection is that it was heavily implied he was a wake and bake sort.... and not in a "Hey, it's the morning of this awesome music festival I'm going to!" way.
   19. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5612553)
It's been all downhill for him since Boyz N the Hood.


In retrospect, he took Higher Learning way too far.
   20. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 24, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5612579)
Without going back to prior Singleton statements, my recollection is that it was heavily implied he was a wake and bake sort.... and not in a "Hey, it's the morning of this awesome music festival I'm going to!" way.

Yeah, I see no reason to believe he's a casual user either based on the multiple suspensions and his general reputation.

FTA on usage back in July, one guy said, “Of the 400 days of [big league] service time I had, I probably smoked on 150 of them,” he told me. “A lot of guys would wake up at 9 a.m. and smoke, but I never wanted to do anything mind-altering until after the game.”

This article is my only reference point for ballplayers and drug use and as Snapper notes, it offers a pretty massive range of users and usage patterns (also from the article: "A fourth player, this one a current star for a contending team, offered a more modest estimate, saying that “one or two guys” on his ballclub used either cocaine or marijuana."). But I do think it offers reason to believe that at least some guys, if not Singleton, are able to compete while smoking or otherwise consuming on a regular basis.
   21. Paul d mobile Posted: January 24, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5612700)
It's hard to trust any estimate with that wide a range. It's like saying the Twins are going to win between 50 and 110 games this year.

I trust that estimate.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: January 24, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5612750)
Jim, whenever Singleton hits the news, you claim people criticized him for that deal. I don't think you've ever produced an example much less evidence of a majority opinion.

There are only 4 real posts in this thread, two of them by me, but we all thought it was a perfectly sensible contract from Singleton's perspective. The only real controversy wasn't the contract itself, it's that the Astros reportedly told him that he had to sign that contract if he wanted to be called up.

In one of those posts, I mentioned three potential comps in Ike Davis, Hosmer and Smoak. Davis made $11 M; Hosmer made $31 M (matching Singleton in his 2nd arb year) and sounds like he's going to make at least $100 more; Smoak has made $13 M, $9 M of that before he hit FA. You can add Logan Morrison ($12.5, $10 before FA) and Chris Carter ($11 through 5 years service time). He certainly ended up better than Mike Jacobs ($5) and almost certainly way better than what Dan vogelbach is gonna end up with.

As I said in one of those posts, he signed for disappointing prospect money. Always a great deal if you end up a bust, you break even if you're just a disappointment, you give up a lot of money if you end up as good as Hosmer -- Singleton would still be under control for 2019-21 at a price of 3/$20.5 (that's total). Still not too bad -- in the first 7.5 years of his career, he'd have made as much as Hosmer did in his first (nearly) 7 years. I comped it to the ML deals that teams used to sometimes sign top prospects to straight out of the draft.

Ranking-wise, he was never a big-time prospect. He'd been in the top 100 for a long time but pretty much spinning his wheels, best rank at 25 on one list, and he dropped substantially on all three lists prior to 2014 when they signed him. He started out as an 8th round draft pick. Nobody thought he was going to be a star.

Looking back, it's an even better deal for him than it seemed to me at the time (if b-r has the details right). He wasn't called up until June 3, 2014 anyway, which is past the super-2 deadline usually (or only allowed them to call him up a week or two earlier). That means this would have been his first arb year and obviously no way he'd have made $9 M in his first arb year. The options on the next two arb years were quite team-friendly but only bring the total down around "regular starter for a few years" arb money. Even the $13 M option on the first FA year has turned out to be Jay Bruce or Mark Trumbo money and (perhaps unexpectedly) only looks like a team bargain compared with Hosmer or Chris Davis types.

FWIW, Bruce seems to have been a super-2 (or was there a buyout?) and through the period covered by Singleton's guaranteed bit made about $9 M and through the options period about $38 M, all many years earlier. Trumbo made only about $6 through his first arb year and $33 through the first FA year, 4 years ahead of Singleton.
   23. Batman Posted: January 24, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5612761)
Apparently, Bud Norris didn't like the deal. I don't see any other real criticism in a quick search. I don't think Bud's on Twitter anymore.
   24. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5612928)
FWIW, Bruce seems to have been a super-2 (or was there a buyout?)

There was. The Reds tried to game his service time but he got Super 2 anyways. After that was announced, he signed an extension.

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