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Diamondbacks release Byrnes, eat $11 million

Jan 20, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

Arizona designated Eric Byrnes for assignment over the weekend and officially released the 34-year-old outfielder this afternoon. Byrnes was in the final season of a three-year, $30 million contract, so the Diamondbacks are eating $11 million by letting him go.
Byrnes signed that deal after a career-year in 2007 that saw him hit .286/.353/.460 with 21 homers and 50 steals in 160 games, but since then he’s been healthy enough to play a grand total of 136 games in two seasons while batting just .218/.271/.382.
He’s highly unlikely to ever land another starting job, but Byrnes should be able to find a bench gig somewhere now that he’s available for the minimum salary. If healthy he remains a strong defensive corner outfielder capable of playing center field in a pinch and still has reasonable pop in his bat when spotted against left-handed pitching, so for $400,000 instead of $30 million he’s somewhat useful.

  1. Steven Ellingson - Jan 20, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Would be a good pickup for the Twins, don’t you think? Certainly better than Pridie.

  2. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jan 20, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    I agree 110% Steven.
    I actually wrote an entry on my blog saying the same thing. At $400,000 it seems like a no-brainer.

  3. Anon - Jan 20, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Didn’t the Twins just solidify their OF by getting rid of Gomez? It’s Delmon, Cuddy, and Span or bust. Is Byrnes an upgrade from Delmon? I can’t see him signing to be a 4th OF, at least not where Delmon is the 3rd.
    By the way, memo to Jim Hendry – THIS is how you get ride of a huge-salary, roster clogging headache. Eat the money. Don’t trade it for a different huge-salary, roster-clogging headache.

  4. Dome Dog Diarea - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Cheapo – Byrnes wouldnt start….. back up bench guy who could play agianst leftys and be a back up for injuries. Perfect Twins signie…. just gotta convince him to sign with the Twins. I could see Atlanta being disirable for him…..

  5. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Byrnes and his agent have both made it pretty clear that neither one expects Eric to land a starting job.

    The Twins make sense because they are in need of a fourth outfielder and if Cuddyer gets hurt (again) or Young struggles (again), Byrnes could logically step up and take over the position.

    The blog entry is at if you’re interested…

  6. GimmeSomeSteel - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    He’d be a good signing for the Reds, too. Fast, can play all the OF spots, RH power, and two things the Reds really like, white and inexpensive.

  7. Jigga Man - Jan 20, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    He could seem like a good guy to have on the Yankees bench. He hits lefties better than righties, can play good defense in LF, perfect caddy for Brett Gardner, and won’t require a starting role.

  8. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    OMIGOD I have dyslexia and I read that title as “D’Backs Eat Eric Byrnes, Release $11 Million”
    I like it better my way.

  9. Todd Boss - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    So, where’s the indignation for the waste of money from writers? Every time the Nats (my team) have spent a dime this off season there was some snarky comment from this group about how we were overpaying, wasting money, etc.
    $11M. The Diamondbacks are paying $11M to make Byrnes go away. Not to sit on their bench or to even compete for a spot in spring training. And yet every pundit out there panned a 2yr $6M deal to sign a servicable BACKUP catcher in Ivan Rodriguez.
    Hypocrites, all of you.

  10. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    The article clearly states the numbers, including how much they ate. Why beat it into the ground? The I-Rod signing was silly too, and in a totally different economy, so it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples. Also, Byrnes was coming off of a career year, fangraphs put his 2007 as worth $16 million, in 2006 he performed at a $12 million level, so it wasn’t that absurd at the time. The fact that he is cumulative in the red since then just means it didn’t work out, you can’t analyze a deal retrospectively and apply it to a new contract. So it’s not even apples to oranges.

  11. Gregory Despain - Jan 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Oh my god you will not belief that. This stupid cat actually farted on my arm!? I mean what is the problem with that!? I feed that thing and I get that in exchange. I yet will not really belief this. After all, you have got some helpful info there in your post. I knew Google could take me to some useful stuff today :). Ok must search for this creature now! Have a great day you all!

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