Marlon Byrd to sign a three-year deal with the Cubs

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UPDATE: According to Gordon Wittemyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Byrd deal is backloaded: $3 million this year, $5.5 million in 2011 and $6.5 million in 2012.

I guess that’s because Byrd is gonna get more valuable as time goes on.

12:22 P.M.
: Rosenthal just tweeted that it’s happening. A three year deal, details to be announced later today. UPDATE: It’s $15 million.

Three years. Mercy.

Byrd is 32 years old. He’s an average defensive centerfielder who, if he is not better suited to a corner now, certainly will be by the end of this deal. He has had some recent offensive success, but it was largely a product of playing in the Ballpark in Arlington.
While his overall OPSs for the past three seasons have been 814, 842 and 808, he was 715, 773 and 740 on the road. As our own Matthew Pouliot said a couple of weeks ago, an Alfonso Soriano-Byrd-Kosuke
Fukudome outfield is going to be an awful lot more expensive than it
will be productive.

Happy New Year, Cubs fans.

Astros’ Jonathan Singleton, Dean Deetz suspended for failing drug tests

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MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Astros first baseman Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. Minor league pitcher Dean Deetz has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Dehydroclormethyltestosterone.

Singleton, 26, has had issues with marijuana in the past and opened up about his addiction several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.” He added, “I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton hasn’t played in the majors since 2015. Last season, after going all the way back to Double-A Corpus Christi, he hit .205/.376/.397 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 500 plate appearances.

Deetz, 24, was selected by the Astros in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. Between Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno last season, the right-hander posted a 4.25 ERA with a 97/50 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings of work. He denies knowingly using a PED, per ESPN’s Keith Law.