The term “waivers” means different things to different people. It is a term that pops up quite often at this time of year with much heavy breathing and gnashed teeth. During the Aaron Hill/John McDonald press conference yesterday, Jays GM and demigod Alex Anthopoulos said something very telling, something worth bringing to just about everyone’s attention.
During yesterday’s presser, Anthopoulos said something to the effect of “we put every single one of our players through waivers, it is club policy.” These revocable waivers are not an indictment of the player nor do the signify the end of each player’s time in town. It is merely another means to establish the value of a player. This means even Jose Bautista’s name gets floated on the waiver wire, if Alex Anthopoulos is to be believed.
MLB Trade Rumours tracks all the players who actually clear waivers, based on published reports. If a player is claimed, the teams can attempt working out a deal or they can replicate the Alex Rios Hot Potato Experiment with the claiming team responsible for the player’s full salary.
If the teams cannot reach a deal and the original team isn’t about to let the player just walk, they pull the player back and everyone goes about their business. Teams can use the waiver wire strategically, blocking competing teams from selecting the missing puzzle piece. This seems to be a favorite move of Giants GM Brian Sabean. Parkes suggests Sabean selected Padres closer Heath Bell to prevent the Arizona Diamondbacks from bolstering their bullpen. Last year, the Giants blocked Cody Ross from joining the Padres only to see Ross become a key player in their run to the World Series championship and their subsequent title defense.
This might be common knowledge for most Getting Blanked readers but the concept can be confusing if you aren’t a basement-dwelling anti-social like me (and you, in all likelihood.) Credit the Jays for looking for every edge (shocking!) and credit to you for not freaking out when you heard your favorite player was on waivers, you cagey old dog.