Justin Upton will not be part of any “blockbuster” trade for a pitcher

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Last night Ken Rosenthal reported the potential for a “blockbuster” deal involving the Diamondbacks. That deal, Rosenthal speculated, could involve Justin Upton and could be for a big name pitcher, names currently unknown.

The Dbacks may make a blockbuster move, but according to Bob Nightengale, it won’t include Justin Upton:

 

It was probably too strong to say “rumors of Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez,” because none of that has been reported as possible or even likely, but the reiteration that Upton is off the table is useful. It tells us that, in all likelihood, the word “blockbuster” may be too strong.

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.