$5 million wasted: Orioles release Garrett Atkins

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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.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.