Report: Phillies “really like” free agent Jonathan Papelbon

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Despite previous reports, the Phillies never had a four-year, $44 million contract agreement in place with free agent closer Ryan Madson.

The two sides are continuing to discuss terms and a deal could be struck eventually, but the Philadelphia front office apparently has a fall-back plan in case those talks with Madson completely fall apart.

Here’s the tweet from SI.com’s Jon Heyman:

source:

Madson, 31, registered a 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings this year, tallying 32 saves in 34 opportunities. Papelbon, 30, posted a 2.94 ERA and 87/10 K/BB ratio in 64 1/3 innings, earning 31 saves in 34 chances. The numbers are similar and the ages are similar, so it’s all going to come down to price.

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.