The story of Adam Eaton will be one of missed potential and horrible failure, but that’s the wrong reading. Two offseasons ago, Pat Gillick handed Eaton a contract of $24.15 million over three years to pitch for the Phillies. At the time, Eaton was coming off a bad season — 5.12 ERA with a 7-4 record in 13 injury-plagued starts for the Rangers. Prior to that, he was serviceable, keeping his ERA comfortably in the mid 4s. Looking at those numbers, you’d say he might deserve an $8M per season paycheck.
But no, he didn’t. He was at his best at PETCO Park, Qualcomm Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Shea Stadium, Safeco Field, McAfee Coliseum, the Metrodome — annually the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball. That was one red flag. Another flag – his alarming hit rates; he was giving up close to a hit an inning. Hitters hit Eaton, and in Philadelphia, it’ll burn a guy.
Eaton never deserved his huge contract — Gillick totally misread the market in 2007, taking a chance on what seemed to be the only sure thing in a free agent list of retreads. In retrospect, sticking with his guns and giving Gavin Floyd another shot might’ve been a better answer, but who knew?
Now Eaton is without a chance, according to Ruben Amaro Jr. It’s fair — Eaton exploded in their face in 2007, was given another chance in 2008, and though in June he was solid, he never sustained it, reverting back to his former failures. With Kyle Kendrick, JA Happ, Carlos Carrasco and Chan Ho Park in the fold for a fifth starter spot, there’s no hope for Eaton. Which is sad. It’s sad so much promise was placed on a man who, really, never showed that he could deliver at all. Even before reaching Philadelphia.