Astros remove Jon Singleton from 40-man roster three years after unprecedented deal

Less than three years ago, the Astros signed first base prospect Jon Singleton to a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $10 million before he ever played an MLB game. The deal was so unprecedented that the MLBPA was upset. Singleton was heavily criticized by his peers.

On Saturday, the Astros reportedly began the process of removing Singleton from the 40-man roster. He was placed on outright waivers.

In the two-and-a-half years since signing the contract, the 25-year-old Singleton has struggled in several big-league opportunities and been unable to seize an MLB job. He hit .202/.337/.390 with 20 home runs and a 24.8 percent strikeout rate in Triple-A in 2016 and did not receive a September call-up.

Needless to say, the contract has not worked as the Astros have hoped. Their plan was to lock Singleton in long-term at well below the market rate -- the deal includes three club options worth another $20.5 million -- before he established himself as a power-hitting middle-of-the-order force. That hasn't happened.

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The Astros' gamble on Jon Singleton hasn't paid off. USATSI

Meanwhile, Singleton's decision to take the unprecedented contract offer means he has $5.5 million in his pocket already with at least another $4.5 million coming to him over the next two years. He's got some financial security. That's why every player who signs a contract early in their career does it. For security.

Any team that claims Singleton on outright waivers gets him and the remainder of his contract. That won't happen. He'll clear waivers, and because this is his first career outright assignment, he won't be able to elect free agency. Singleton will remain with the 'Stros as a non-40-man roster player.

The Astros took a risk guaranteeing Singleton $10 million without ever seeing whether he could handle big-league pitching, and it hasn't paid off. They rolled the dice and it backfired. Singleton jumped at the security and I'm certain he's glad he did now.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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