Eaton Sadly Without A Chance – Phillies Nation

Eaton Sadly Without A Chance

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.



  1. Don M

    January 25, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    He doesn’t even deserve a chance… he basically stole money from them.. What I don’t understand, is that he had a few VERY good outings vs the Mets… but outside of that, he’s been terrible

    peace out Eaton

  2. Amanda

    January 25, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    See ya Eaton!! Thank you Ruben for realizing he has no chance!

  3. Griffin

    January 25, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    He’s no Andy Ashby.

  4. Eric R

    January 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    They should make him the Phanatic’s assistant. He could pitch wiffle balls between innings and help launch the hot dogs. Make him earn his $9 mil.

  5. Drewdacris

    January 25, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    “Sadly”??????? I’m not sad about it at all.

  6. maxhole

    January 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    good riddance. pay the muts to take him

  7. Bduns

    January 25, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Not a good deal, we all know that. Eaton did 2 good things while with Philly:

    1: Aside from his last start against the Mets, he performed very well against them

    2: He took Scott Olsen yard

    The guy wanted to perform, showed enthusiasm in the dugout, etc but just never kept it consistent. He will end up somewhere though, and in his start against us I bet he pitches well.

  8. Bruce

    January 25, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I understand the nature of “Philly fans” and their vitriolic criticism of Eaton. However, it’s good to see that Tim expressed sadness that Eaton couldn’t lived up to expectations of both management and fans. Eaton had his effective moments with the team as indicated by Tim and his statistics. However, his bloated contract by the previous GM, Pat Gillick acerbated his situation when it became evident that his ability didn’t matched the cost. Yes, I do sympathise with someone who is down on his luck and looking for employment. Perhaps, like Freddy Garcia who recently signed with Mets, may be offer another chance with another team..this time.. with lower expectations.

  9. Manny

    January 25, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    The minute I saw this guy pitch for the first time, I knew he sucked. I’m not kidding.

  10. Manny

    January 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Btw, nobody mentions Ty Wigginton.

    I think he’d be a solid acquisition. He’d be much better than Alou and Co., coming off a very good season with the Astros. The right-handed bat we need.

    Any thoughts how much $$ it would take to get him?

  11. Don M

    January 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    From the moises alou post..

    # Griffin Says:
    January 25th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    From Buster Olney’s blog: “The guy who ranked fifth in the majors in OPS against left-handed pitchers remains unsigned — Ty Wigginton, who absolutely hammered lefties in 2008, posting a .424 on-base percentage and a .631 slugging percentage.”

    # Don M Says:
    January 25th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    He’s only had 39 at-bats as a pinch hitter, with 5 walks.

    a .263 average is pretty good from that role, but would he be happy doing that? …. 23 HR’s in less than 400 at-bats is crazy..

    Phillies are said to be interested in Wigginton, and Rich Aurilia.. i’d be fine with either of them as the addition.. you could give Pedro Feliz lots of rest early in the year, try to keep him healthy..

  12. Don M

    January 25, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    He’s a guy that wants to get playing time.. and deserves it.. I think the phillies probably want to keep a bench-role player under $3 M, probably under $2 M…. and i don’t know that Wigginton would take that?

    Jenkins makes bank because he was going to be a platoon-player and not a “bench” guy, which is why he makes too much.. If it takes $3 M to get Wigginton, it might be a good idea.. I didn’t know he killed LHP that much, but I never really looked into him because I nkew he was looking for a long-term deal.

    Maybe playing for the World Champs is better than playing in Pittsburgh, KC, or something

  13. Bruce

    January 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    From another thread…. my comment on Wiggington:

    “…it would be a feather in Amaro’s cap if somehow he is able to convince Wiggington to be a part time utility player for the team. However, to be realistic, Wigginton had good numbers last season for Houston. He is likely to expect MORE playing time and a multi-yr contract that pay MORE than $5 million he received last season.”

  14. PhillyGirlinMichigan

    January 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I’m sad for the Phillies and the phans, but not for Adam. Yes, its got to be difficult for his ego that he’s stumbled so badly, but most people will never make the kind of money he has. He’s set for life as long as he invests wisely. Some players perform much better for longer periods of time than he has in his career..yet never hit the market at the right time to land that kind of contract.

  15. Joe O'Phillie

    January 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    There seems to be a dislike for Eaton by the Phils. Yes, he stunk but he Phils sent him away from the team during the playoffs and during the celebration and now tell him he has no shot. I have to imagine that the Phils felt that Eaton was dogging it the past 2 years and would be a bad influence on the team.

  16. ryan

    January 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Not only is Eaton a really bad pitcher, he doesn’t appear to be bothered by the fact that he stinks either. And he doesn’t try to get better from my point of view. He’s out of shape, and he has a bad attitude about things.

  17. Geoff

    January 25, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I saw about wigginton, i think hed want more money and PT then the phillies would be able to provide, but in this market he may just want to take a one year deal with a good team to build value. id be ok with bringing him in, i mean, hes a good player. he could end up being a super utility man sort of like derosa. can play different positions which will earn him more PT than just a simple bench player…

    As far as Eaton goes…i mena it is sad. hes not sad that he has all that money, but its sad to see someone fail so utterly and completely. nobody wants to see that, because its never pleasant. its screwed him up so bad that you cant even use him in the bullpen.

  18. Sean P.

    January 25, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Besides giving Gavin Flloyd a chance maybe the Phils maybe should of tried to stay with Eric Milton. In retro-spect noone was counting on Eric Milton to have the year had either, after signing a one year deal.

  19. Georgie

    January 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    This is one of the reasons I admire Tim and his writing, he could have just trash-talked about Eaton, but instead he adds a human touch to this sad story (and it IS sad) and shows some compassion. No matter what you may think of Eaton, you can’t believe this is the way he wanted his career and life to end up. To be shunned by the team that way after the WS win must have hurt like hell, sure he’s set for life financially, but money isn’t everything to everyone. Man, you guys can be harsh!

  20. Alphonse Dattolo

    January 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm


  21. Georgie

    January 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    It’s just WRONG to wish bad luck on anyone, it will come back to bite you in the a$$. I don’t see the CEO’s of oil companies giving back their tens of millions, and that is hurting you alot more than Eaton’s 24M, wise up, people!

  22. Julian

    January 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    In that article it said Marson will not be ready this year. I was expecting him to start the season as backup.

  23. Howard

    January 25, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I’m not wishing bad luck on Eaton, but the dude didn’t do anything to help his cause. I heard a post game interview after one of his last bad outings before getting sent down to the minors. He was literally unsympathetic. It was an afterthought to him that his performance was hurting the team. Anything that he’ll say after the Phillies release him in the press will bite him. I think the only team that would sign him after this, would be the AC Surf.

  24. Tim Malcolm

    January 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Julian: No way Marson was making the team out of ST. It’s a big transition for catchers from AAA to MLB, and Marson still needs to show some pop with his bat.

    My timetable for him was a callup in September, just like last year, THEN a battle for backup in ST 2010, probably making it. By then Coste should be gone, and it’s possible either Paulino and Ruiz won’t be re-signed. Marson will back up and platoon in 2010, becoming full time in 2011.

  25. Tim Malcolm

    January 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Think about this – if the Phils don’t win the Series, it’s possible Gillick is remembered more for the two bad moves he made (Eaton for $24M, Garcia for Floyd/Gio) than for Dobbs, Werth, Moyer, Stairs, Eyre, Romero, Lidge, Bruntlett.

  26. NJ

    January 25, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    It’s tough to talk about Eaton like Garcia, you just look and question what could have been butnevertheless it’s not like the Phils could have achieved more and I suspect that will be Gillicks legacy.

    Picture this- Eaton pitching to Andruw Jones with Doug Mirabelli catching, you just can’t predict how that’d end…

    If the Phils are really into Wiggington the market for him must really be dry with they 3rd base need teams looking at Crede, he’s only signing if he gets everyday playing time so maybe things are that bad with Feliz…


    January 25, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Do not send Eaton to Lehigh Valley!

    “Italian Local Seasoning” today on Mark DiFelice of Haverford Township H.S.

  28. Gavin

    January 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    V. Hayes……Parrish……Jeffries…..Tartabull……Mesa…….Ashby……T. Lee……Garcia…….Eaton…..

    He should pay for the team to eat twice a week down in AAA.

  29. Groty

    January 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Reviewing his numbers. Why was he ever considered a starter? Long relief is where he should have been when the Phils saw him after drafting him in the first round in 1996.

    His arm was killed early. He should not have been considered a starter. Much less a first round pick.

  30. RichieAllen

    January 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Im sure he feels as bad as most of us do……It shows that its such a bad signing that I havent heard of a single team that would take him off our hands…..even if we almost give him away.

    Lets just say he is lucky Gillick gave him 24 mil and thank god its our last year of this nonsense.

  31. PhillyGirlinMichigan

    January 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I definately am not wishing any ill onto Adam Eaton. I have always kept pretty quiet about him as I really did want to see him succeed (at least breifly). I just don’t feel real sorry for him. If I mess up that bad at my job, no one would feel sorry for me and I would end up in forclosure – not set for life. He’ll be able to move on….

  32. Evan

    January 25, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Eaton has earned nothing from the Phils, and apparently he has nothing left to contribute. That’s the sad part of this story. I can’t understand what he did in the first place to deserve his big contract. Maybe it was just because the market was about as high as it would ever be when he was signed.

    I wonder where he goes from here. I know if I were him I wouldn’t want to go out on the bottom, it doesn’t seem like he has anything left to make a comeback.

  33. Grrrumpy Miner

    January 25, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    maxhole Says: “good riddance. pay the muts to take him” No Thanx…you can keep Adam Eaton.As dire as the Mets piching is,I’d rather have Anthony Young or Doug Sisk pitching for my Amazins than that 2 bit bum.

  34. Dean H

    January 25, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I remember going to the Phillies twice in 2007 after not watching them for years. Both time Adam Eaton pitched and allowed over 5 runs in the first few innings. I could not believe someone could be that bad of a pitcher but he is bad. Bad. Bad. And I really don’t feel bad for him. He is suppose to be a Professional and he has been a thief. He stole the money from the Phils. And absolutely no remorse. And, why in the world do people feel bad for him? This is business, perform and you get praised. What a waste of 3 years………… Adios Adam and please don’t return.

  35. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Tim, if the target date for Lou Marson is looking like 2011 season (which I agree with).. What are the chances that he gets traded by then and we go with Travis D’Arnaud as the catcher-of-the-future?

    I know its years away, but I’m not putting any stock into Marson as anything certain yet.. Ruiz also hit .300 in the minors, and is already established.. I think Catcher and OF prospects are the ones to watch over these next two seasons (obviously SP too)

  36. Pingback: Should We Feel Bad For Adam Eaton?

  37. the rookie

    January 26, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Obviously Eaton will never be starting a game in Philly again. I just find it hard to believe that the coaches can’t turn him into some sort of viable reliever. If we are paying him that kind of money yet, might as well try to get some return. Madson got his role shortened to an inning and it added some velocity to his fastball, why not Eaton(granted it he doesn’t have the out pitch like Madson though).
    Yes I know Eaton sucks, but I think if we are stuck with him we should be at the very least trying to get some kind of positive contribution out of him. Unless there are other reasons they don’t want him near the team.

  38. Mike T.

    January 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

    ty wiggington is a fat mess. no thanks.

  39. Brian

    January 26, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Gillick what the heck were you thinking?!!!! AHHHHHHH Thank goodness this is the last of Adam Eaton this year…Maybe the Mets will sign him next year!

  40. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I’m sure that Adam Eaton feels terrible about making all that money… but then again, he has 24.5 million greebacks to help him wipe away those tears. At the end of the day, I’m sure he would have rather pitched well but he didn’t and we shouldn’t feel bad for him. He didn’t perform and he has no one to blame for that besides Adam Eaton. Sure, he made some money pitching poorly but there was a time when Adam Eaton was underpaid (4.08 ERA in 2003 earning $350,000). That’s just the way it works. It’s like Social Security… you’re paying for other peoples’ retirements, not your own. Cole Hamels (the jerseys he sells and the seats he fills) has been paying for Adam Eaton and someone else will pay for Cole. Don’t hate the player…

  41. Bob

    January 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    The guy gave up a grand slam to Rod Freakin’ Barajas….I was there.

  42. Bruce

    January 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Chuck P~ Well… if you’re looking from that point of view, I and everyone else have contributed to YOUR future retirement. 😉

  43. Dan

    January 29, 2009 at 12:00 am

    @ Joe O’Phillie,
    Once the minor league season ended, pitchers were asked to pitch in Florida to stay in shape in case of injury during the NLDS and then would be able to be with the team during the NLCS and World Series. Eaton was among those asked. He chose to go home and have nothing to do with the team instead. He wasn’t purosely kept away from the team, he’s the one who chose to be away from the team

  44. Jacket

    March 16, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Is there a way to become a content writer for the site?

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