Cubs sign Scott Feldman to one-year, $6 million contract

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Free agent right-hander Scott Feldman has agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs, the team announced. The deal also includes $1 million in potential incentives.

Feldman became a free agent when the Rangers declined his $9.25 million option for 2013. Texas was hesitant to stick with Feldman in the rotation even after a bunch of injuries depleted the starting pitching depth and his 5.09 ERA was ugly, but his secondary numbers were much stronger and included a 96/32 K/BB ratio in 124 innings.

Chicago previously signed Scott Baker to a one-year, $5.5 million deal with $1.5 million in incentives, so clearly Theo Epstein and company decided to strike quickly with mid-level targets and try to find some (relative) bargains with a little upside. In a market where Jeremy Guthrie got $25 million for three years committing $11.5 million to a pair of potential mid-rotation starters seems like a sound plan.

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.