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Teams Paying $70M to Released Players This Season

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-Teams have spent about $70 million this season — including nearly $26 million this past week alone — on players whom they have cut loose but will continue to pay.

The Detroit Tigers released outfielder Gary Sheffield ($14 million) this spring. The Philadelphia Phillies, who are paying released starter Adam Eaton ($8.5 million), also dumped outfielder Geoff Jenkins ($6.75 million) this spring. The San Francisco Giants released Dave Roberts ($6.75 million). The Baltimore Orioles released veteran reliever Jamie Walker this summer still owing him about $3 million. And the Red Sox are responsible for the remaining $13.5 million owed to shortstop Julio Lugo, who was traded three weeks ago to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Third baseman Bill Hall was released by the Brewers earlier this week. He is owed $10.5 million on the remainder of his 4-year, $24 million contract.

Meanwhile, Hall will have plenty of guys to hang out with while looking for a job. Pitcher John Smoltz, who is owed the rest of his $5.5 million contract and $1.665 million in roster bonuses, was designated for assignment this week by the Boston Red Sox. The Los Angeles Angels unconditionally released reliever Justin Speier; they owe him $6.5 million through next season. The Texas Rangers sent starter Vicente Padilla home still owing him $3 million. And the Oakland Athletics released designated hitter Jason Giambi despite owing him the remainder of his $4 million contract and a $1.25 million buyout.