Cubs will keep scouting director Tim Wilken for 2012

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They haven’t hired a new general manager to replace Jim Hendry yet, but the Cubs informed scouting director Tim Wilken that he’ll be retained for next season, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.

Wilken sat down recently with owner Tom Ricketts and told Sullivan that “he was very supportive” and “he’s a good man.”

Ricketts recently gave a four-year contract extension to player personnel director Oneri Fleita, leading many to wonder why he’d do that before consulting with the new GM, but Wilken will apparently work on a one-year deal in 2012.

He’s been the Cubs’ scouting director since December of 2005.

UPDATE: Gary Hughes, who was a special assistant to Hendry since 2002 and has a great reputation in the scouting world, has stepped down.

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.