The Rangers have claimed first baseman Tommy Joseph off waivers from the Phillies, according to an announcement from Texas. In a corresponding move, the Rangers placed right-hander Clayton Blackburn on the 60-day disabled list with a strained pitching elbow.
Joseph, whom Philadelphia designated for assignment last week to make room for Jake Arrieta, lost his footing with the club after the emergence of Rhys Hoskins in 2017 and the signing of Carlos Santana during the offseason. There was simply no room on the Phillies’ roster for Joseph, a former catcher prospect who has become a first base/DH option in the majors.
The 26-year-old Joseph debuted with the Phillies in 2016 and was a solidly above-average hitter that year, with a .257/.308/.505 line (112 wRC+), 21 home runs and a .248 ISO in 347 plate appearances. Joseph went backward over a 533-PA sample size in 2017, though, as he slashed a subpar .240/.289/.432 (85 wRC+) with 22 HRs and a .192 ISO.
While Joseph was a regular in Philadelphia, that’s unlikely to be the case in Texas. With Joey Gallo occupying first and Shin-Soo Choo as the Rangers’ primary DH, there’s no obvious path to playing time for Joseph. He’ll either open the season on optional assignment or attempt to bounce back from last season as a bench bat.
Nice pick up, Kennys Vargas is next on line for pick up now I guess !
The kind of low risk move that can help bring a team closer to contention. Only hurts when you have to release someone more valuable. The roster spot he’ll likely take should not be impacted.
Glad that the Rangers claimed Joseph.
Sometimes all you need is a new team, fresh start, Carl
Has the season started already?
It’s about to. (And can’t wait!)
It’s the best time of the year
Good for Tommy. Best of luck to him.
Agreed. I hope he has an awesome time!
The next Mike Napoli kind of player is Joseph and the Rangers identified that, outstanding move!
Except Napoli was a catcher when he was good for the Rangers so he provided offense at a valuable position and not a marginal bat at DH/1B.
Napoli’s first two ML seasons he had an OBP of .356. Joseph’s OBP after two seasons is .297. Also as GeauxRanger notes below, Napoli was a catcher…and a fair to good defensive catcher. Joseph is a 1B/DH only and is poor defensively at 1B.
Does this move make TEX more likely to offer Carlos Tocci back to PHI to accommodate Joseph or a more rounded player than Tocci on their Opening Day roster, or is Carlos still in contention for a 25-man roster spot?
This was a straight up waiver claim I believe. Which means no trade.
I don’t want to speak for him, but I’m assuming his question was more in regards to the 40 man spot.
Yes, mizzourah87. I’m just asking about the 40-man and 25-man roster spots in play and whether Tocci still has a shot of making the Rangers.
His 40-man spot is safe it seems, but I don’t really know where he fits on the 25-man now
Does anyone know more of his switch from C to 1B? I’m curious if Rangers would have interest in at least considering him as a backup C as well. I want to say he moved to 1B because he wasn’t that good defensively but the bat could stick elsewhere. Anyone know more about that?
Don’t see him going back to catcher. Last time he played there was 2015 and he switched over to 1B because of concussion issues
Ah, thanks for the input. Yes, if it was due to concussion issues I doubt any team would consider putting him back there.
Bad concussion history in Philly
Nice pickup. Would like to see him in a position to get more starts and work on plate discipline, there’s some 30-40 HR seasons in that bat but the low OBP slugger is going the way of the dinosaur. Nevertheless, nice pop off the bench
The one move they might consider is pushing Choo back to left and install Joseph as the DH. It would be a horrible defensive configuration, and Joseph is graded worse than Gallo at first so that’s out, but from an offensive perspective, it’s an upgrade while waiting on Calhoun to be ready to play.
I wish they would try to figure out if Ronald Guzman is gonna pan out. He’s 23 so I figured they should give him a shot soon. Hit around 300 last year too.
Was hoping he would have had a better spring. Guy is great with fans. never seen him turn down an autograph or photo op for anyone.
I loved the power in the bat, but the lack of versatility hurt
Good luck in Texas ToJo- hope you find that 30 HR threshold soon.
The price was right! Fresh start and I like him better than the inhouse options. If only he could pitch, then we might really have something!
Glad to see him latch onto a team. He endured a lot of adversity related to his concussion issues. Thanks for some long bombs Tommy.
I think Joseph’s bat is certainly worth a flyer, but I struggle to see where/how he fits on this roster as currently constructed. If we assume that a backup catcher, Profar and Ryan Rua are getting three of the four bench spots, this would seem to put Tocci’s roster spot in jeopardy. But without him, who backs up DeShields in center field? This one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Well, if you accept the proposition that they are not going to keep Tocci it makes total sense.
I don’t know if that is what they are going to do, but in that context it’s a decent low risk move.
I hope that’s not the plan. I think Tocci’s got some decent upside, and at the very least could have value as a late-inning defensive replacement/pinch runner.
Rua becomes the odd man out with tocci as a backup center fielder and profar as the backup left fielder
I’m fine with that plan, though it probably overexposes Drew Robinson in left. But that seems like a temporary setup anyway with Calhoun eventually pushing his way into the picture at that position.
Good luck, Tommy…never made waves, never heard a bad word about him in Philly…hope this works out for him!!
Knew he’d get claimed, which is why I was annoyed they didn’t just trade him for something, even a lotto ticket. Watch they’ll do a similar dumb move with Franco.
Pretty sure the Phillies would’ve rather of traded him too. He pretty likely could’ve been had even before Hoskins got called up,and there’s been no secret of him being the odd man out since Santana got signed.And there’s also a window of time after being designated to negotiate trades before going through waivers. He got claimed by an al team with the 14th worst record from last season,that means he got passed on by every nl team,plus a handful of al teams,nobody wanted him enough to give up the prospect.
I was thinking one of the cheapo teams would be a trade partner in the AL like the A’s or Rays.
Quality guy sad to see him leave. Bad concussion history
Joseph is only 26 years old w/ 30 HR pop. When Beltre retires, Gallo will move to 3B and Joseph to 1B. I think they claimed he looking towards the future with him.. Isn’t Choo a FA next year as well… That would put Tommy Joseph as their full time DH as soon as next year.
It was a good move by the Rangers – Best of luck to you Tommy!