Jon Singleton contractAstros first base prospect Jon Singleton just signed a contract worth a reported max of $30 million dollars over 8 years. In comparison to today’s high stakes spending across MLB – I’m looking at you, Miggy and Clayton – $30 mil over 8 years is hardly enough to raise an eyebrow, and even less so when considering only $10 million of the deal is fully guaranteed. There’s one major detail worth pointing out, though.

Jon Singleton has never appeared in a major league game.

Ok, so why would the Astros offer such a contract? Why would Singleton, a prospect with legit 30-homers a year potential, sign a deal that will be insanely team-friendly if he pans out? And why didn’t my job offer me a ton of money before my first day, dammit? These are all valid questions.

It’s hard to fault Singleton for taking the money, but still, it initially feels like he’s admitting defeat. He’s no Kris Bryant or George Springer, but he was ranked by Baseball America as the 82nd best prospect in baseball before the season.

Here’s Singleton crushing a home run with the Triple-A OKC RedHawks:

Here’s a quick scouting report on Singleton from‘s Jason Hunt:

Singleton’s bat will carry him to the major leagues, as his power potential is above-average to potentially plus. It won’t be empty power either, as he is considered an above-average hitter for batting average purposes, and has an excellent eye at the plate. There have been concerns about his makeup (mentioned above), as well as his conditioning, as he came back from his suspension a bit out of shape. He’s not likely to provide value on the basepaths, with a token stolen base or two per year at most. Defensively, he’s limited to first base, as the Phillies tried him in a corner outfield spot to little success, and this puts pressure on his bat to be even more productive to provide value to the big league club. He definitely has the potential to be an above-average contributor at first base though, with 25+ home run seasons possible.

Sounds like a guy worth a hell of a lot more than an average of $3.75 million a year, doesn’t he? If you’re thinking Singleton sold himself short, count yourself among the ranks of Orioles pitcher Bud Norris and I’m-not-sure-if-he’s-retired-or-trying-another-comeback pitcher Mark Mulder.

Despite the potential tens of millions of dollars Singleton is missing out on, I can’t fault him for taking the money up front. For every big time prospect that’s bet on themselves and gotten big money after reaching free agency, there are guys like Lastings Milledge and Bill Pulsipher who certainly wish they could have inked a deal like Singleton’s. Also, give yourself a point if you recall a significant baseball moment from either one of those guys. Good luck, and sorry, Mets fans.

While some see Singleton’s deal as an act of self-doubt, it’s really an act of self-awareness.  Singleton has a history of substance abuse and was suspended for 50 games in 2013 for a failed drug test. He’s admitted he’s a marijuana addict (insert joke about how it’s all-natural and totally not addictive, bro) and has had some prolonged struggles at the plate in the minors. In 73 games at Triple-A OKC last year, Singleton hit just 6 homers with an OPS of .687.

Should every prospect follow Singleton’s footsteps? No way. Astros rookie outfielder and mega-prospect George Springer recently turned down a deal similar to Singleton’s, and after mashing 10 dingers in May, it’s looking like a smart move.

While there’s a chance Singleton cost himself a lot of money, there’s also a chance he just made a shrewd finance move. If in 10 years he finds himself on the long list of top prospects-turned nobodies, he’ll at least be a nobody with financial stability.

Follow Sean on Twitter @the_graw