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Pitcher Eaton released by Phillies

Pitcher Eaton released by Phillies
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Adam Eaton's stay with the Phillies ended Friday when the team released the right-hander, who is owed $9 million by Philadelphia.

"I don't think upset is the right word," Eaton said. "Underachieve? Yeah. The expectations for both sides coming in were unrealized. One was achieved last year, but not in the way we thought."


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The 31-year-old, originally selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 1996 amateur draft, was 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 2007, his first season after agreeing to a $24.5 million, three-year contract as a free agent.

He won the fifth starter's spot in spring training last year but was 3-8 with a 5.71 ERA in mid-July and accepted a minor league assignment after the All-Star break. He finished 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA and a .310 opponents' batting average in 19 starts and two relief appearances, then was left off the postseason roster for the second straight year.

"Based on where we are with our pitching staff and the fact that we feel comfortable with our depth, we wanted to give Adam every opportunity to pitch with another club, rather than wait until later in the spring when it gets more difficult," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Eaton receives an $8.5 million salary this year under a deal that included a $9 million player option for 2010. The team can void the option and pay a $500,000 buyout.

Eaton went 14-18 with a 6.10 ERA in 51 games under the deal.

"Sometimes you make the right decisions on guys, and sometimes you don't," Amaro said. "This is a situation where it just didn't pan out for us."

Any club can sign Eaton for the $400,000 minimum, with the Phillies paying the rest of what he is due.

"I thought when we signed the deal, that I would be an integral part in any positives on the field. For the most part, it didn't happen that way," he said. "I did have moments of success, but for whatever reason they were short-lived."

Eaton arrived at camp on Feb. 13, a day before pitchers and catchers were requested to report, but wasn't viewed as one of the pitchers in camp competing for the fifth-starter's job. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said the bullpen didn't make sense either, since Eaton has been a starter for virtually his entire big league career.

"It's kind of late to make him a bullpen guy," Manuel said.

Eaton is 68-63 with a 4.80 ERA in nine seasons with the Phillies, Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres.

"I think you're given a lot of opportunities, and the opportunity I was given here, I was appreciated," Eaton said. "There's a new chapter to begin, with some blank pages that need to be filled in. I just looked forward to moving on."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: February 27, 2009

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