Veteran slugger's no-trade clause makes it unlikely he'll be dealt
By Joe Trezza
The Blue Jays placed Jose Bautista on revocable trade waivers Thursday, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, making him the second high-profile player publicly exposed in the days following Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The club has not confirmed or commented on the move.
The Tigers also placed Justin Verlander on revocable waivers Wednesday, two days after his trade market dematerialized. Rosenthal points out that both players have full-no trade clauses, making it extremely unlikely they will be dealt through the waiver process.
This, of course, is all standard procedure for August. As MLB.com's Andrew Simon points out in his excellent waiver process primer, teams expose most of their active players to revocable waivers at some point during the month. The word "revocable" means just that -- clubs can pull their players back if they are claimed, giving teams no risk in exposing anyone in the first place.
So while Bautista hitting waivers makes news, the Blue Jays can simply decided to take him back, even if he is claimed.
If a player goes unclaimed for two days, he "passes through" waivers, meaning his club can trade him to any other team for the rest of the season. This is how August blockbuster deals of the past -- like the nine-player swap between the Dodgers and Red Sox that sent Adrian Gonzalez and others to Los Angeles in 2011 -- began. (Bautista and Verlander's no-trade clauses complicate their particular situations, but most players do not have those written into their contract.)
It is also important to remember teams can only pull a player back from waivers one time.
Which, in all likelihood, is what Toronto will do with Bautista -- but big names have been moved in August before. The Blue Jays slugger is having his worst season since becoming a star with Toronto at the start of the decade, hitting .216/.235/.381 with 16 home runs and 109 strikeouts -- already his highest whiff total since 2011. Healthy again, Bautista leads the Majors in games played, but at age 36, he's posting a below-league average OPS (.706) for the first time in nearly a decade.
Bautista's contract includes a $17 million mutual option (with a $500,000 buyout) for next season, and a $20 million vesting option for 2019.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.