UPDATE: the Pirates now deny that they have made Octavio Dotel an offer

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UPDATE: Dejan is now reporting that a Pirates source has refuted that any offer has been made to Dotel. Of course, the Pirates also said on the record — multiple times — that they were tendering Matt Capps a contract, and they didn’t do that. They also said they weren’t going to pay a reliever $3 million, but Dejan reports that they made a last ditch offer to Capps of “close to $3 million” before Capps signed with the Nats last night. They have also, just recently, changed course with free agent candidates based on what was reported in the media, so forgive me if I’m less than 100% cowed by the denial.

But assuming Dejan is right, however — and it’s a fair assumption given that he’s the most plugged-in guy in Pittsburgh — I’m not sure how I could have possibly been wrong yesterday. My source is gold! He’s the same guy who told me that Dewey beat Truman and that all that yellowcake uranium was floating around Baghdad!

2:25 P.M.: A source tells me that the Pirates have made an offer to Octavio Dotel to be their closer. The offer: $3 million plus games-finished incentives.  Not a deal yet or anything, but it’s out there.

Dotel has turned in back-to-back healthy seasons since coming back from
Tommy John surgery, and he continues to post excellent strikeout
numbers. Still, surprising that he’s being looked at as a closer. Then again, these are the Pirates.

Astros release Jon Singleton

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The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict 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. 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 played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.