Harrison Bader placed on waivers by the Yankees, AP source says

New York Yankees' Harrison Bader hits an RBI single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — Speedy center fielder Harrison Bader was placed on waivers Tuesday by the New York Yankees, a person familiar with the move told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move, first reported by Newsday, was not announced.

Teams have until 2 p.m. EDT Thursday to claim the 29-year-old, who is eligible for free agency after the World Series. A club taking over Bader’s contract on Thursday would owe $758,065 of his $4.7 million salary.

“What does waivers mean?” Bader said playfully after the Yankees beat the Tigers 4-2 in Detroit. A native New Yorker, Bader then added: “In all seriousness, regardless of what happened or may happen, just getting the opportunity to play in this uniform — and I still hopefully do get the opportunity to play in this uniform — just everything that's happened has just been an absolute blessing, an absolute gift.”

A player must be in an organization before midnight EDT Thursday to be eligible for a postseason roster.

Bader learned of the waivers when he saw it on a television crawl in a clubhouse kitchen 10-15 minutes before game time.

"I understand it’s a business. You learn it," he said. “I'm a long way away from being a pup coming up in the Cardinals organization.”

“I'll just be by my phone,” he added. “But listen, it is what it is.”

A Gold Glove winner with St. Louis in 2021, Bader is hitting .239 with seven homers, 37 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts over 83 games. He is in an 0-for-17 slide and 5 for 50 from Aug. 12 on.

Bader strained his left oblique in spring training and didn't make his season debut until May 2. He was sidelined between May 29 and June 20 with a strained right hamstring.

Bader was acquired from St. Louis on Aug. 2 last year for left-hander Jordan Montgomery and hit five homers in nine postseason games for the Yankees.