Amid reports that he was close to a long-term contract extension Ian Kinsler called negotiations with the Rangers a “confusing process” and now it sounds like talks have stalled to the point that a deal may not get done.
In fact, Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports that “it appears doubtful the Rangers will reach a contract extension with Kinsler by first pitch.”
Kinsler has said previously that Opening Day isn’t a strict deadline for talks if he feels things are close enough that an extra day or two was all they needed and he told Watkins that they’re “close enough to be disappointed, it’s not done.”
Kinsler added that he’s “not involved anymore” and “I really don’t want to be involved anymore,” although that may simply mean it’s advanced to the point that his agent has everything covered. Or as the All-Star second baseman put it: “It becomes a one phone call type of thing, I guess.”
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.