With the Jays’ roster finally coming into shape with the return of Darren Oliver, last week I started working on a big post about which players on the club have minor league options remaining, with the goal of figuring out how the Opening Day roster might shake down. It turned out that Bluebird Banter had beaten me to it, which was just as well, as far as I was concerned, because I had been having a devil of a time clearing up one last confusing piece of information about options.
It was being claimed by several sources that once three years had passed from the time of a player’s debut, he could no longer simply be optioned to the minors– provided he still had an option year remaining– as he had to clear revokable waivers first. As with the waiver process in August, this means that the club would put the player on waivers in order to option him down, but could remove him from waivers if another club attempted to claim him.
Maybe I’m just not good at Google, but there was a ridiculously small amount of information about this process, and how, say, a guy like Travis Snider sailed through it when he was optioned last year– long after the third anniversary of his 2008 debut. Some pages talking about the options process ignored it completely, others noted it but offered no explanation of it, and some folks even denied the existence of the procedure.
Well, thanks to Gregor Chisholm, in his latest at BlueJays.com, we’ve learned that it really is a thing… technically.
Happ, meanwhile, just has to pass through optional waivers before joining Buffalo. In other words, Toronto could pull Happ off waivers if another team put a claim in without running the risk of losing his services.
On the surface, that may appear difficult, but in reality, it’s a mere formality and not one that is expected to cause Anthopoulos any troubles if that’s the route he decides to take.
“I don’t think in the history of the game anybody has ever been claimed on optional waivers,” Anthopoulos said. “It doesn’t mean a club can’t, it’s just something I haven’t seen done and everyone needs to do it.
“It’s basically a way to block someone from sending the player down, and you’d probably have wars going back and forth if that happened. It’s pretty standard and it doesn’t really impact anything. I’ve never seen players get claimed, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be.”
Well, then. So I guess that clears that up, huh? Kinda weird. Like, did Brian Burke design this process or something?
Anywho, I guess J.A. Happ almost certainly sounds like he’ll be in the rotation in Buffalo to start the season, barring injury– as he should be– and that getting him there, despite technically having to put him on waivers, isn’t going to be a problem.