As we emphasized yesterday when Justin Verlander was reportedly put through the same process, Bautista’s placement on revocable waivers isn’t at all surprising. Most players will be placed on revocable waivers this month, but the timing of such moves are at least worth noting, as it gives some insight into the point at which a player can be marketed to other clubs (or can no longer be marketed, in the event that they’re claimed and pulled back). Bautista’s waiver period will last 47.5 hours, and his salary makes him a virtual lock to clear. If and when he does clear, the Jays will be able to discuss trades involving Bautista with all 29 other teams, free of restriction.
[Related: How August Trades Work]
Like Verlander, Bautista has full no-trade protection. As such, he could reject not only any trade that the Blue Jays present him but also another team’s claim off of trade waivers (however unlikely that scenario might be).
The 36-year-old Bautista is hitting just .216/.325/.381 with 16 homers thus far in 2017. While he looked every bit of his vintage self in May, slashing a Herculean .317/.412/.644 that month, he’s batted .200 or lower with an OPS of .638 or lower in each of April, June and July. With $5.9MM remaining on this season’s $18MM salary, plus a $500K buyout of a 2018 mutual option still owed to him, Bautista looks immovable unless the Blue Jays are willing to pay down some of the remaining money on that contract.
The Jays may well seek to do that, but Bautista will likely need to show some signs of life at the plate before any club expresses interest. There should be no shortage of corner bats available this month after so few moved off the market prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, so teams on the lookout for such players will have options that are more productive and less expensive than Bautista.