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$5 million wasted: Orioles release Garrett Atkins

Jul 7, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

As expected, Garrett Atkins and his $4.5 million salary went unclaimed on waivers after being designated for assignment last week and the Orioles have released him.
Baltimore still owes Atkins a $500,000 buyout in place of an $8.5 million team option for next season, which means the Orioles flushed a total of $5 million down the drain for 44 games of .214/.276/.286 hitting from first base.
Atkins was worse than expected, but the signing was always doomed given his steady decline since a career-year in 2006 and horrendous recent numbers away from Coors Field.
He’ll try to latch on with another team and may still be useful as a right-handed bench bat and backup corner infielder, but Atkins might have to settle for a minor-league contract to show he’s not totally washed up by knocking around Triple-A pitching for a while.

  1. vandalen - Jul 7, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Phillies?

  2. APBA Guy - Jul 7, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Baltimore is Oakland transported 10 years in the future. Both teams love to bet on reclamation projects. Rarely, like with Frank Thomas in Oakland, they hit 30+ HR’s and the bet is a winner. More often, like with Garret Atkins, the team loses the bet. But I have no sympathy for the teams, since their business model is to use revenue sharing plus TV to turn a profit in front of frequently empty stadia. Moves like the Atkins signing have nothing to do with building a winner. They are just hole filling disguised as hope for the few remaining fans.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    This kind of crap would end in a hurry if MLB would make it mandatory to invest the revenue sharing and luxury tax money in payroll a la the NFL. I suspect that enough of the big market team owners are getting fed up with watching pipsqueak tightwads like Scrooge McLoria stuffing their pockets with the money that the big guys earned which was supposed to level the competitive playing field.
    .
    Your beloved As might be more of a case in point than the Aureoles, though, since Beane has proven his ability to assemble competitive teams most of the time. I suspect if the Angelos regime turned around and plugged every cent they had into building a winner, their newfound generosity would still be trumped by their long term incompetence.

  4. APBA Guy - Jul 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Gator, you know Air Bud isn’t going anywhere near anything labeled “mandatory” if it applies to the owners. It will be up to the union to police spending, and that too is not really effective since they can’t know the teams’ books. So in the end the rich clubs are going to have to dig in their heels, as you suggest, and who knows if the rich clubs can and will engage in a practice on the side of the union, even if it is also in their interest.
    And while it’s true that Beane in the past has assembled winners, there is a growing suspicion that 1) he’s no longer engaged in baseball, and 2) much of Beane’s initial success was due to Alderson’s efforts when he was GM.
    Part of the reason for 2 is that the growth of the young pitching staff now is timed to not coincide with any kind of offense, so that when Bret Anderson et al reach free agency, they will be shipped off a la Dan Haren since they would cost serious money (as a group) to retain during arbitration and free agency, and the team won’t be in a position to win due to zero offensive potential.
    I believe you are familiar with cheapskate-driven free agent loss in Macondo, correct?

  5. rx - Jul 7, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    The Rockies could use a right handed bat off the bench. Just sayin…

  6. Old Gator - Jul 7, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    Familiar with it? It is my very life force as a Feesh fan. Of course, it’ll be fun to meet for brunch one Sunday at the Olema Inn a few years hence and compare notes on how the “cash flow” improvements our respective new stadiums generate impact team philosophy, will it not? (By the way, my offer to come out your way to have this conversation in the middle of a maybe seventy eight degree day graced by maybe forty five percent humidity one hypothetical July is also driven by self interest, he said, gazing out upon the iguanas sunning themselves around his pool deck on yet another ninety plus degree day graced by eighty five percent humidity.)
    .
    Incidentally, if the Players’ Union demands some enforcement of the fatcat tax during the next round of negotiations, they damned well may get it just because enough of those bigtown owners are so pissed off about the fiduciary antics of mighty mites like Scrooge McLoria. As far as what the union does or doesn’t know, after the beating they took in the “collusion” decision some years back I think the owners will find some way to accommodate the union in a manner that’s livable for both of them. Even the arbitrators don’t trust the owners as far as they could throw them with a JATO-assist.

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