Storylines: Astros promote, extend Singleton
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, June 2.
- The Astros told slugging first baseman Jon Singleton that he will be promoted to the Major Leagues for today’s game, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reported. MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweeted earlier in the day that "all indications" were that Singleton would be promoted as early as this week.
- The Astros also announed that they inked Singleton to a historic five-year contract extension with three club options despite the fact that he’s never played a Major League inning. Singleton will receive a $10 million guarantee, and his contract can max out at $35 million if all of the options are exercised and he reaches various performance bonuses. Singleton will reportedly earn $9.5 million in salary over the five guaranteed years, plus a $500,000 buyout if the Astros decline their first option. The total value of all three option years is $20 million, with an extra $5 million available in bonuses and awards. The extension sets a new precedent for players who don’t have any Major League service time. Singleton was already under team control through at least the 2020 season, though now the Astros have cost certainty over the slugging first baseman through all of his pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible seasons, not to mention his first free agent season should Houston use all of its team options. The 22-year-old Singleton is now locked up through his age-29 season. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that Singleton’s options are worth $2.5 million, $5 million, and $13 million. Singleton would earn $17 million for his pre-arbitration and arb years, with the $13 million option being for his first year of free agency.
- As of Monday's American League All-Star ballot update, Michael Brantley was Cleveland's lone representative among the top vote-getters, ranking ninth among outfielders with 460,384 votes. Angels outfielder Mike Trout continued to lead all AL players with 1,361,649 votes, followed closely by Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (1,351,896).
- The Indians adjusted the look of their bullpen before Monday's game against the Red Sox, as they recalled left-hander Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus and optioning righty Mark Lowe to the same affiliate. With Hagadone back in the fold, manager Terry Francona has three lefties -- Marc Rzepczynski and Josh Outman are the others -- at his disposal. Cleveland is still featuring an eight-man relief corps.
- The Indians are looking at much more than pitching lines while evaluating Danny Salazar's progress since being sent down to Triple-A Columbus. The young righty was tasked with fine-tuning some mechanical flaws, and Cleveland was encouraged by his last outing. "His line score wasn't very good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But it sounded like he threw a lot more fastballs down in the zone. He had gotten a little out of whack in his delivery."
- According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, third baseman and backup catcher Carlos Santana (seven-day concussion list) fielded ground balls on the field before Monday's game against the Red Sox. Francona indicated that Santana might be cleared to be activated by Friday.
- The Royals claimed right-hander Blake Wood off waivers from the Indians, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported. Wood was designated for assignment by the Tribe last week.
News and Notes:
- The Blue Jays don’t have the prospect depth to pursue David Price or Jeff Samardzija on the trade market this summer, ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote. Both aces are only under contract through 2015 and seem unlikely to sign extensions to stay in Toronto, so the Jays aren’t willing to pay the high price of several top prospects for such short-term acquisitions.
- The Jays could look to add less-costly pitching help before the deadline, Olney wrote, as well as an upgrade at second base, though the Brett Lawrie/Steve Tolleson/Juan Francisco rotation between 2B and 3B is working well. Toronto could also add another bullpen arm (if Sergio Santos isn’t healthy or effective) either before the deadline or into the August waiver period.
- The Marlins agreed to sign right-hander Kevin Gregg, pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Gregg will spend eight or nine days getting up to speed in the minors before joining the Major League club. Rosenthal added that part of the reason behind Miami’s decision to trade their No. 39 overall pick to the Pirates in exchange for Bryan Morris was to clear room to sign another reliever (Gregg). The draft slot traded by the Fish was valued at $1.4 million. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported that Gregg’s deal is technically a minor league deal. The Marlins won’t have to make a 40-man move immediately, and they won’t have to make a procedural move like placing Gregg on optional waivers before sending him to the minors, as the Red Sox did with Stephen Drew. Gregg will receive a $2.1 million pro-rated salary upon being called up, which means he’ll earn right around the same amount ($1.4 million) that the Marlins will now forego in draft bonus slot money, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Marlins moved Jose Fernandez to the 60-day disabled list, opening up roster space for newly-acquired reliever Bryan Morris. Fernandez, of course, will be sidelined for roughly the next year as he recovers fromTommy John surgery.
- The Rays moved infielder Tim Beckham to the 60-day DL and filled his 40-man roster spot by purchasing the contract of outfielder Jerry Sands from Triple-A. Sands will help fill in for Wil Myers, who went on the 15-day DL. Beckham, the first overall pick of the 2008 draft, tore his right ACL during the offseason.
- The Orioles announced that they selected the contract of Johan Santana and placed him on the 15-day disabled list as he continues his recovery from left shoulder surgery. Santana had an opt-out clause in his contract that would’ve allowed him to elect free agency at midnight last night. Instead, he was added to the team’s 40-man roster, though not the 25-man roster for the time being. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reported that technically, Santana did exercise his opt-out, which is what prompted the team to instead purchase his contract and place him on the Major League disabled list. Santana’s recovery has progressed nicely, as he’s pitched in extended Spring Training and is said to be eyeing a return to the Majors as early as June 18. The Orioles signed him to a minor league contract this offseason that came with a hefty $3 million base salary plus $5.05 million worth of incentives.