The Diamondbacks announced today that they have agreed to a one-year deal with catcher Caleb Joseph. It’s a split deal that would pay $1.1MM in the majors or $250K in the minors, per Zach Buchanan of The Athletic (Twitter link).
To open roster space, the D-Backs placed righty Taijuan Walker on the 60-day injured list. He is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, which was performed last April.
Joseph, 32, is an interesting addition on a MLB deal, though the split nature of the deal and the fact that he has a minor league option remaining suggest that he’s not a lock to break camp with the club. The Arizona organization already has Alex Avila under contract, still controls the out-of-options John Ryan Murphy, and acquired youngster Carson Kelly as a significant part of the club’s offseason trade of star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
It’s certainly possible that the club will carry three backstops, as it has done so in the past, though that’d obviously mean tying up an active roster spot. Alternatively, the Snakes could simply be planning to open things up to competition for two jobs this spring and option or trade/DFA whichever players fail to impress.
Joseph was non-tendered earlier this winter by the Orioles, the only professional organization with which he has played. He has at times been a palatable performer on offense, but has also struggled badly in two of the past three seasons. Last year, Joseph slashed just .219/.254/.321.
Clearly, there’s greater respect for Joseph’s defensive chops than for his bat. He has at times graded quite well as a framer, though that was not the case in 2018. Joseph has generally had success at handling wayward pitches and controlling the running game.
Could AZ be a dark horse to sign Harper to a short term deal?
Chicks Dig the Longball
Harper won’t sign a short term deal. According to reports, it’s either philly or giants. I don’t know why the giants but there you go
What? No he’s not willing to take one and they make no sense.
Actually it was reported that Harper wanted to play in AZ due to proximity to Vegas
Zona would not be a bad landing spot, on-paper. Also wondering if they’d be in for Iglesius on a 1-year deal.
Harper wanted to, allegedly, join the D-Backs because Goldy was also here. That’s no longer the case and I don’t want an overpriced outfielder that crumbled under the pressure of a contract year.
No need for Iglesias in AZ. Nick Ahmed just won a gold glove and had his best offensive season.
I feel baseball fans around the country are yet to find out about Nick Ahmed…
He’s the best defensive short stop in the NL…. period!
I mean… we couldn’t even sign AJ Pollock to a short term deal… and we need a CF… not an overpaid RF who hits .220 at all star breaks…
Carson Kelley is an outstanding defensive catcher. Although, he hasn’t proven that he can hit major league pitching thus far.
Yes. In other words, we got Goldy for nothing, and we can tease D-Backs fans about that forever.
Got Goldy for nothing??? Jumping to conclusions ehh? So you’ve seen the future and already know that Kelly, Weaver, and the two minor leaguers won’t materialize into anything huh?
Enjoy the 1 year contract with Goldy… you know he’s going to sign elsewhere when the season is over… he’s going to follow the money!
pretty small sample size so far at the major league level…. I think we’ll finally find out if he can hit this year!
I guess this clears the field of serious competitors in the Blake Swihart Sweepstakes.
This is exactly what I was talking about on the “Boston shopping catchers” thread.
Who in their right mind is going to be offering Boston anything for a guy with -.8 war, -.5 war, or -.3 war.
Sure Vazquez is a quality defender, Swihart may still have some untapped potential, but AZ just signed a guy to a split deal who actually was above replacement level.
Idk what Boston really hopes to get, but I’m guessing a future article about Boston considering to DFA a catcher is more likely then 1 about someone actually trading for a Boston catcher.
So does he have an option year available?
Are the snakes going to chew up 3 roster spots with catchers again?
I’d say there is a 99% possibility of the Dbacks carrying 3 catchers again…
This Caleb guys has a chance to take John Ryan Murphy’s spot…
Caleb seems like a good dude but he isn’t much help with the bat. In 2016 he didn’t have a single rbi in 132 at bats and had an obp of .216! Other years haven’t been much better. His defense isn’t so good to overcome
dimitrios in la
Agree, hard to overlook the offensive deficiencies, but he’s a terrific clubhouse presence and a guy who works very hard. Also re the pitch framing: the way the O’s staff was last year I’m not sure there were many pitches even in the realm of possibly framing 😉
Caleb has been an asset behind the plate for years. When Weiters was injured for almost 2 seasons Joseph stepped in nicely. He was an essential piece of the ’14 alcs team. Throw out ’16 as he had a major injury. In ’17 he backed up Wellington Castillo nicely and last year he coached Sisco and played well defensively. A nice pickup by Arizona.
dimitrios in la
A real quality catcher, and a quality guy. He’ll also make a terrific coach someday.
Caleb Joseph is a very smart baseball player. He keeps his cool, he never panics, he frames very well and he calls a good game, which are probably his best assets. He’s the kind of player who doesn’t have tremendous gifts, but whose intelligence allows him to make the best of them. He’s going to be an outstanding coach when his playing days are over, but they aren’t over yet. I think it was ridiculous of Baltimore to let him go.
dimitrios in la
Agree with everything except the last point. It’s time for them to develop their young talent, Wynns, Sisco and so on. The O’s won’t tank but they will field increasingly young squads.
It is a feat of ineptitude to go to the plate 140 times without an RBI.
Very likely that it will never happen again. Way to go, Caleb! You get a million dollars!
dimitrios in la
It’s a feat of something extraordinary to make it to the Bigs. (But, yes, I get your point!)
Wouldn’t be surprised to see them carry 3 catchers again. Probably Joseph vs. Murphy for the 3rd spot with the loser being DFAd
Avila also likely has a shot leash this year
Agreed… Avila is there worst offensive and defensive catcher last year… and the highest paid. They should have a short leash with him.