$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.