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Phillies Rumors: Club ‘likely’ to acquire Jose Bautista after waiver claim

The Phillies have reportedly claimed Jose Bautista on waivers. (slgckgc/Wikimedia Commons)

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t make the playoffs in 2018, it won’t be because of a lack of effort from general manager Matt Klentak’s front-office.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Phillies have claimed New York Mets third baseman/outfielder Jose Bautista on revocable waivers. The Mets have pulled the six-time All-Star back, but Andy Martino of SNY says that while a trade agreement isn’t close, a deal is “likely” to be agreed upon between the Phillies and the Mets. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports says that the Mets would like a prospect in return for the 37-year-old, as opposed to just allowing the Phillies to take on Bautista’s remaining salary for the season.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the Phillies interest in Bautista. Just prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Heyman noted that the Phillies were among the teams that had checked in on Bautista. Ultimately, the Mets chose to hold onto Bautista at the time, before waiving him recently and allowing a team like the Phillies to place a claim. It’s not precisely clear when the claim was made, but Rosenthal says a deal would have to come together “by tomorrow.” Two teams have a 48.5-hour window to work out a trade after a player is claimed and pulled back on revocable waivers. The Phillies are now the only team eligible to acquire Bautista.

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Should the Phillies land Bautista, it would mark his third different National League East team in 2018. The Toronto Blue Jays icon began the season with the Atlanta Braves, but hit just .143 in 12 games before being released. However, despite the fact that he’s hitting just .207 with the Mets, he’s provided value. In 242 at-bats in New York, Bautista has nine home runs, 37 RBIs and 50 walks.

If a trade is completed, the Phillies would then have to clear a subsequent 25-man roster spot. That would presumably mean that Scott Kingery would be optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley until Sept. 1, when MLB rosters expand. Kingery would still be eligible for the postseason roster – should the Phillies make it there – because he would be on the Phillies 40-man roster as of Aug. 31.

Prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies acquired LHP Aaron Loup from the Blue Jays, infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets and catcher Wilson Ramos from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Phillies have already made two August pickups, landing first baseman Justin Bour from the Miami Marlins and LHP Luis Avilan from the Chicago White Sox.

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