You can talk 'til you're blue in the face about how it's normal, actually, that a player placed on waivers does not find out about the transaction until he's already gone. I will counter, though, that nothing about what happened on Tuesday across MLB was normal.
Typically, there isn't a wave of waivers dropped two days before the playoff eligibility deadline, as the league's cadre of skinflint teams searches for a new way to save cash without the August waiver trade deadline. Usually, it's just a high-priced veteran being silently placed on waivers in hopes that a team will bite and absorb $60 million.
What we've never seen is the Angels, Yankees, Mets, and White Sox dropping mid-tier rentals on the market en masse, expecting seven or so names to change hands at the drop of a hat. Considering MLB's scorned buyers spent Tuesday trying to invent a New Thing midseason, it might've been nice to give the players involved a heads up that their life was likely about to change in an entirely unexpected manner.
Players gird themselves to move at the trade deadline. They refresh Twitter. They don't leave their phones. With the August deadline eliminated, Harrison Bader and countless others surely believed they were safe and wouldn't have to pack up and move before September.
Bader was wrong, and he found out about the likely disruption ... by catching a passing television. Baseball's a business. And that's bad business.
Yankees didn't tell Harrison Bader he'd been placed on waivers, which seems good
In case any of you were still harboring thoughts about Bader being extended in the Bronx (or at least being offered a ~$20 million qualifying offer), Tuesday's decision to do him a favor and send him into the potential playoff pool a month early probably squashed those.
Bader was an injection of life in a darkened lineup last October against the Guardians/Astros, and appeared ready to level up and pair an exceptional contact/power bat with elite center field defense in 2023. Instead, he was oft-injured and struggled mightily against right-handers when healthy, contributing to a team-wide malaise by hitting .206 with a .505 OPS against the variety of pitchers big-leaguers see most often.
Overall, his body of work likely didn't merit an expensive second look this offseason, but he's a menace against lefties, an excellent defender, and is playoff-tested. He could absolutely help a contender, and if the Yankees didn't have any interest in keeping him, he should've been shipped to one of said contenders a month ago.
Instead, he'll likely walk in exchange for "cash back," and represents the second example in as many years of the Yankees blindsiding someone they'd previously treated like a core player. You remember the last one, right? When Jordan Montgomery was traded for ... oh, yeah. It all comes full circle, and the circle's always poisonous.