Don't Overreact: Bautista Placed on Revocable Waivers

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)

As if the non-waiver Trade Deadline wasn't enough to get Blue Jays fans talking, this little nugget of news was released earlier this morning - 

I get that this will, inevitably and frustratingly so, light up a bunch of people's eyes and make them equivocate this to the Jays actively shopping Bautista, but this simply isn't the case. It's important to understand what the "revocable waivers" are and how they're handled in baseball.

For a more in depth look at how the revocable waivers work, I encourage you to visit Beyond the Box Score's write up. But, for sake of content, I'll offer a more casual description for the layman. Basically, it's not uncommon for every team to put practically every player on revocable waivers because there is literally nothing to lose by doing so. It is my (limited) understanding that teams place most - if not all - of their players on revocable waivers to gauge interest from other clubs as to what those players are worth to them. The thing about it, there's absolutely no commitment involved and, even if the player is claimed, that does not mean that he will be joining the team that claimed him. Quite literally, the team that placed him on such waivers can say, "uhhh yeah, no thanks!" pull him back, and that's that. Or, nothing materializes at all, the player clears waivers, and the Jays can gauge some trade interest. That's it.

In Bautista's case, it goes two-fold. For one, Ross Atkins has admitted that he fielded a plethora of offers for the right-fielder, but never asked Bautista to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Therefore, it's safe to assume that although conversations and negotiations didn't get far enough to the point where a deal was in place to move him, there's interest enough in Bautista that perhaps there's still a chance that a move could be made during the month of August. Perhaps a team that's teetering on the edge of making the playoffs wants this month to have some sort of final evaluation process to see if a player like Bautista could possibly push them towards playoff contention once he clears revocable waivers and engage in trade talks with the Jays. Or, perhaps things got way too hectic at the deadline that it simply wasn't the appropriate time to get a deal done and this gives a team a further opportunity for some dialogue. 

However, the second fold is that this isn't really anything to be concerned with and it's simply common place. The Blue Jays are wise to put practically every single player on revocable waivers because it doesn't make a difference whether they're on them or not. Consider that the Tigers have even placed Justin Verlander on revocable waivers yesterday. 

This doesn't mean that that both him and Bautista are available for a team to scoop up and the Tigers and the Jays, respectively, get nothing in return besides salary relief. It simply gives teams an opportunity to gauge interest after the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed. That's it. 

The beauty of placing a player on revocable waivers is that it gives the club that did so options. Say a team claims Bautista on revocable waivers. At that point, the Jays can either pull him back off waivers - the aforementioned "uhh yeah, no thanks!" scenario - and nothing changes. Or, if the Jays don't really like Bautista anymore (highly unlikely), the team that claims him can take him and his contract on and he's no longer a Blue Jay. Or, the likely scenario, Bautista goes completely unclaimed after 48 hours, at which point the Jays can have active talks with teams regarding a trade. If a trade materializes, he must then waive his 10-and-5 rights to join the team that wishes to acquire him which, depending on the team, is a toss-up.

The main take away here is that the Jays placing Bautista on revocable waivers isn't something to freak out over and does not mean Bautista is necessarily on the move. It's common. I'd be willing to bet that he's been placed on revocable waivers before and we literally had no idea. Am I saying that he won't be moved in the month of August? No, I'm not because there may be enough interest that stemmed from the non-waiver Trade Deadline for the Jays to have futher discussions with clubs that may need Bautista's services. It's certainly possible. But do I think that it's likely he'll be moved? I highly doubt it. Quite honestly, with the exception of maybe Estrada, I don't see the Jays making any further moves until the off-season. Call it a hunch.

Bottom line, don't freak out. This isn't anything to be concerned with. Carry on.

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