Eaton Is Released
Perhaps the only surprise is that it happened today, and not later this spring. Eaton went 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 2007, and 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA in ’08. The Phillies asked him to accept a Minor League assignment last year. He accepted, but went 0-5 with a 7.16 ERA in seven starts for Class A Lakewood, Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Those two years sealed his fate for 2009.
Despite the fact he signed a three-year, $24.5 million contract on Nov. 30, 2006, he was not a candidate to win the fifth starter’s job this spring. He will make $9.15 million this year (his $8.65 million salary, plus a $500,000 buyout on a 2010 club option). If Eaton clears release waivers as expected and signs with another team, the Phillies will be responsible for $8.75 million of that.
Here is some of what Eaton said this morning:
On expectations after he signed his contract. Disappointed? Upset?
I don’t think upset is the right word. Underachieve? Yeah. I wasn’t as healthy as I’d like to be. That’s been my focus this spring, to be healthy so I can do what I’m able to do. Anytime you’re weighing surgery options in the offseason before the second year of a contract … and maybe I should have done it, maybe that would have been the best case scenario, but I feel fine now. … Unrealized, both sides, expectations for me coming in. One was achieved last year, but not in the way we thought. 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. I did have moments of success, but for whatever reason they were short-lived.
On being a former first-round pick with the Phillies, coming back, and being released.
This organization obviously thought highly enough to draft me No. 1 overall in ’96 and make a big splash in the off-seson going into the ’07 season. They thought well enough of me to make a bigger splash signing me to a three-year deal. When I left last time they got Andy Ashby. When I leave now they just get Andy Ashby’s contract. It’s sad, but I wish I was able to earn that money while I’m still in this uniform.
Feel expectations with salary?
If given the opportunity, if you’re out there working hard, doing the things you can to prepare, you are earning that money. The results … you can have the best teacher in the world, but if the student tries hard, but just can’t get a concept it doesn’t mean they’ve failed as a teacher. I failed as performing to how I wanted to perform, but to say I failed as a teammate? I failed as an athlete? No. But we’re all tested on a day-to-day basis. I passed a lot of days, but my results weren’t very good. I think the test results weren’t very good. To have a label put on you to be a certain way is fine. I have a higher label on myself than I think a lot of people do. Especially now.
On any regrets about not pitching in the Florida Instructional League during the NLDS? Players who participated rejoined the team to watch the NLCS and World Series from the bench.
The only thing I regret about not being there for the World Series was not sharing it with my teammates. Organizationally, you know, whether they were thinking, ‘Would Adam be here? Would he just show up, or should we invite him?’ There was never a conversation there. I never thought about coming because, I was like, they’re doing so well, I didn’t want to show up and say, ‘Hey guys, look who’s here.’ I think that would be a little two-faced on my part. I weighed my decision very carefully before I was given the opportunity. I was not going to make the playoff roster, obviously. I haven’t pitched in the big leagues since whenever, July. And they say, ‘Well, go down and get in shape for possibly…’ Give me a [bleeping] break. What do you want me to say? You want me to swallow another pill? For what? Waste two weeks down here where I can go spend two weeks with my family? Yeah, sure, I’ll go up there for the World Series. Hey, I’m up on the float. ‘Boo, [bleep] you.’ Great. Would that be any fun for anybody? No. In that regard, not sharing it with my teammates. But it was nice to see them on TV. They’re world [bleeping] champs.