UPDATE: Several teams in on Japanese left-hander

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Sunday: Roch Kubatko of MASN hears that Takahashi has rejected offers from the Mets and Orioles.  Scratch two more teams off the list.

Saturday, 6:09pm: Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets that the Giants are assuming Takahashi will accept a minor league offer elsewhere.

Saturday, 2:39 pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets
that the Mets, Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers, Pirates and Padres are all
“considering” Japanese left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. “Considering”
can mean a lot of things, but earlier this week, Patrick Newman of NPB
Tracker passed along a Japanese media report which mentioned that the
Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers and Padres had all offered him minor league contracts. Heyman expects him to choose a team soon.

Takahashi,
who turns 35 in April, was 79-66 with a 3.70 ERA in 245 career games
with the Yomiuri Giants. The soft-tossing lefty projects as reliever in
the major leagues, and as far back as November, Newman suggested that he would be a good fit in the National League West. Sounds like he could be right on the money.

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.