Garrett Atkins has struggled mightily this season and hasn't given the Orioles much of anything. Because of his awful performance, most O's fans believed that his days in Baltimore were numbered and that he'd soon be removed. And earlier today it finally happened.
The O's designated Atkins for assignment and recalled Koji Uehara, who has been effective when healthy, though that hasn't been very often. Atkins's main problem was that he just didn't hit. (His first base defense was also pretty terrible, but that's not why he eventually started losing playing time as the season progressed.) In 152 plate appearances, Atkins hit .214/.276/.286 with one home run. He scored just five runs and knocked in only nine. Also, Atkins walked only 12 times (7.9 BB%) while striking out 30 times (21.4 K%).
In the offseason, the O's signed Atkins to a one-year, $4.5 million dollar deal with a 2011 club option for $8.5 million. Obviously since they just DFA'd him that option won't be picked up (even though there wasn't much of a chance of that happening anyway). Despite playing in only 44 games, Atkins had a WAR of -1.1. So not only did Atkins cost the team a few million that could have been spent on another useful player, but he played worse than simply a replacement-level player who could have been signed for cheap.
Then again, signing free agents is far from an exact science. O's fans should just be glad that they don't have to watch Atkins in an Orioles uniform anymore.