Wallace DFA opens the door for Jonathan Singleton

Jonathan Singleton’s chances of opening the season at first base for the Astros got a boost Thursday afternoon.

Brett Wallace was designated for assignment to make room for newly-signed pitcher Jerome Williams. That means the Astros have 10 days to trade or release the former first round pick of the Cardinals.

The 27-year-old Wallace had been listed as the starter at first base on the Astros’ depth chart. It’s possible he could still end up on the team, but this move is likely the manifestation of the behind-closed-door meetings and conversations that have been going on for months regarding his viability.

With the off-season signing of Jesus Guzman and with Chris Carter and Marc Krauss also in the fold, the merry go round from first base to DH is quite full.

Many fans have been calling for the Astros to dump Wallace for months, if not years. While he could still turn up on the roster if he clears the waivers, the DFA is also an indication he’d be on the bubble even if he did hang around.

A change of scenery is more likely for Wallace, who has played for four organizations.

With Wallace gone, the Astros have clearly set up a spring training battle between Guzman and Singleton. Or have they also opened the door to the Jason Castro-to-first-base discussion.

Perhaps the bigger question for the Astros is who they’ll slot in to backup Matt Dominguez at third base. Wallace had been listed as the backup there. There are options in camp, but none with any pop.

  • Will Wallace get picked up on waivers?
  • Will Wallace play better with another organization?
  • Who do you prefer at first base: Guzman or Singleton? Or Castro?

26 comments on “Wallace DFA opens the door for Jonathan Singleton

  1. Kind of surprised at the timing:
    – I think he gets picked up – somebody will give him a shot
    – I think the whole roster would hit better elsewhere because almost any lineup around them would be better than the 2013 Astros lineup.
    – Hey with Wallace gone – I would love to see Singleton to get the shot.


  2. yes he’ll get picked up
    yes he’ll play better somewhere else

    wallace is one of those guys that will benefit from a change of scenery. maybe not his first stop, but eventually.


  3. Wallace will rule at any AAA location.
    Hope he gets picked up by somebody so that Amador gets to play more at OKC.
    I hope to see Singleton and Guzman on the team, Singleton to play 1B and Guzman to sub and play a little COF.
    We still need someone to back up at 3B and SS. Wallace was good at neither!


  4. This is the fourth team for Wallace and still he does not play well enough to stick. Why will another location make him any better? He may get picked up just to be AAA insurance policy for an injured player. We have talked about Singleton for two years. Let’s see what he can do at this level. Will be no worse than Wallace.


  5. I will be sorely disappointed if Singleton gets the call and Springer does not. The only reason to bring up Singleton would be based on his performance in winter ball and perhaps a good spring while Springer has performed at every level and apparently has the personal discipline and character to avoid immature bonehead behavior. First base can be adequately manned by any number of placeholders but I want to see Singleton perform at AAA for 2-3 months before he comes up to the big club. Actually, moving Wallace ought to get Krauss out of the outfield and Springer firmly lodged in RF from day one.


  6. Good riddance. I wish I could get paid 6-7 figures a year to absolutely suck at my job. I don’t even make enough money to feed my family every day, yet this guy got chance after chance. Give Singleton a chance. If he doesn’t do well, at least he got the chance to succeed or fail; some of us would do anything for a chance in life.


  7. I agree with Dr. Bill. I want to see Springer on the opening day roster before Singleton. Springer has performed at every level in the minors and has been a high character kid. I want to see Singleton prove himself in OKC for at least a month before he is promoted.


  8. I’m surprised – I expected Harrell to be the DFA. I doubt the Astros are seriously considering Castro as a 1B. It dilutes his value. They need him to catch 50% of the games so they can flip him for the most return possible. That assumes one of the prospects, like Stassi, turns out to be an above average major leaguer.

    Singleton starts at OKC unless he pulls a Eusabio in spring training. Carter has shown he can play 1B and hits equally against righties and lefties. If they want to stick him at DH, they can try Guzman or Krauss as noted…but likely will have the opportunity to sign someone that gets cut from another team to bridge the gap.

    Wallace will have no problem finding employment. Teams often stock fringe players on AAA rosters as insurance policies. For short periods of time a flawed player can do the job. I don’t have anything against Wallace. Some guys can’t hit a major league fastball and end up in that AAAA category. It still puts him in an elite category.


    • Problem is Devin, that Castro has only played an average of 68.5 games a year since he broke in. He’s not been able to catch a full year and remain healthy. He’s most valuable if he can play 150 games and show an .OPS up towards the .900 range. He’s got a much better chance of doing that while not catching full time.


  9. A team can’t pick up Wallace and put him in AAA unless he agrees as he is out of options. I am guessing Wallace would not agree. If he clears waivers then the Astros can retain him and assign him to AAA. At least this is what I have read.


  10. While my initial reaction is to say, “Good riddance,” I also have some reservations. I think he’d have made a serviceable platoon with Guzman until Singleton has that month or two at OKC to prove he’s ready. I also worry about him heading to OKC and blocking either Amador at 1B or Jonathan Meyer at 3B.

    Hopefully he gets picked up. Between Krauss, Guzman, Carter and Singleton we’ve got a logjam at 1B and DH.


    • I disagree strongly with your idea. Singleton’s month or two at OKC proves nothing, as Wallace has shown perfectly every time sent to AAA. If Singleton is to prove himself it has to be in Houston for the major league club. That’s where every. ballplayer needs to do it. They got rid of Wallace. Now it’s Singleton’s chance.
      Springer has already proven himself at AAA. It’s his turn to show what he can do in the bigs


  11. I also don’t think Castro gets more than a token game or two at 1B. Unless Luhnow is ready to make Stassi his No. 1 catcher, Castro is still our best option behind the plate.


  12. While it was true that Brett Wallace was pretty bad……I wish the sweet
    guy the best of luck. I had the opportunity to visit with him two years ago, and you would be hard pressed to meet a better guy. He is humble, and knows all the bad things that were written, and said about him……….trust me, it hurt. I hope he hooks up with another team, sooner rather than later. Good bye young man……..we wish you great success.


  13. I think Wallace was a #27 prospect at one point a few years ago. Singleton was ranked #27 last year, before regressing a bit this year.

    Minor league stats:


    That’s Wallace on top and Singleton below. Certainly, Singleton is much younger, has shown to have significantly more plate discipline and is better around the bag at first. But as evidenced above, it’s still premature to assume that Singleton is our guy of the future at first base.


  14. The only reason Kruass (a scrub) is still around is to give Singleton some lefty competition in ST. If Singelton performs, he’s in, and will get the lion’s share of the ABs against righties at 1B.

    If Singleton struggles in ST, then it’s on-going scrubsville at 1B…


    • Next year is Krauss’s year 26eason. That is the average age in AAA. He has had 146 plate appearances in the major leagues and was a late year addition-rookie last year. Your scrub assessment of him is illogical and premature.
      Wallace’s MLB stats indicate that he truly is a scrub but that label is unfairly placed on Krauss at this point.


    • Yeah, Krauss is not the answer. And he’s certainly no viable outfield option. We’ve got enough quality in the outfield (especially defensively)with Springer, Grossman, Hoes and Fowler so that guys like Krauss, Carter and J.D. Martinez should never see any time out there on this team.


    • Yeah I know that he’s a lot older – but Krauss at OKC last year had .880 OPS and Singleton in about the same amount of games .680 OPS.


  15. Wow a lot here. I agree first with Becky, Wally is a solid kid, just has to many holes in his swing, average defensively,, can’t run, but good kid. I get everyone yelling for Springer, he will be an Astro in 2014. I”m with a couple of you , time to bring Singleton up, see what he does in the Bigs, see if hes the future at 1st base. If not then time to look at plan B. It’s getting that time in Astroville to go from prospects to players or next.


  16. Maybe it is just daveb and myself banging the gong on this – but I’d like to throw out a few thoughts on the Castro to 1B move:
    – Yes, Castro has more value as a C – but he loses a lot of that value when he is so often injured.
    – In the modern non-steroid AL – his .835 OPS is very good period – not just at C – versus qualifiers, he would have been 16th in the league.
    – Qualifying catchers ahead of him in OPS in the AL:
    Joe Mauer – who has started playing part time at 1B
    Carlos Santana – who plays quite a bit at 1B and is a heck of a
    66 year old Hispanic guitarist
    Mike Napoli – oh wait a minute – he no longer plays C – last
    season he was a 1B and a DH exclusively.
    So the C to 1B is not some wild haired never been tried before idea.
    Anyways – this would only make sense if Stassi looks good and Singleton looks bad – but it needs to remain as a possibility.


    • Dan, definitely not a “wild hair” thought. But if the Astros have discussed the Castro-to-1B option, even internally, they and Castro both have done a good job keeping it very secret. For us onlookers, it seems the obvious top-of-mind consideration, except for Singleton. If Singleton is the player everyone thinks he is, Castro’s future may be at DH. But…he’s probably too young to relegate to that spot alone.


      • Chip – I will say this – the Astros under Luhnow have been almost rumor free – it feels like not a hint of upcoming news gets whispered about ahead of time – so they could come out tomorrow and announce a Castro to 1B move and it would be just another in a series of surprise moves.
        I did want to say one other thing about the Wallace DFA. The Astros now have an amazingly lopsided 40 man roster. They have 25 pitchers – only 12 of which would likely make the opening day roster, while they have only 15 position players (and George Springer is not one of them) and probably only 13 of them make the opening day roster.
        Just fascinating to see this.


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