The Blue Jays have signed catcher Caleb Joseph to a minor-league contract, reports Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet (via Twitter). The Wasserman client will receive an invitation to major league spring training, Campbell adds.
Joseph is most well-known for his time with the division-rival Orioles. The 33-year-old played in parts of five MLB seasons with Baltimore, serving mostly as the club’s number two option behind the plate. He spent last season in the Diamondbacks’ organization, although he only appeared in twenty MLB games. Joseph spent a little more time with Triple-A Reno, where he hit .265/.324/.481 with seven home runs in 179 plate appearances. On the surface, that looks plenty strong for a catcher, but it was fairly pedestrian in the hitters’ paradise that was the 2019 Pacific Coast League.
Joseph has never been much of a hitter, with just a .223/.270/.350 line (66 wRC+) in 1,358 career MLB plate appearances. He’s long drawn above-average marks as a pitch framer from Baseball Prospectus and has thrown out a strong 31.8% of attempted base stealers over his career, though. Despite the lack of offensive prowess, Joseph makes sense as a defensive-minded backup option.
As things stand, the Jays figure to give the first look behind the dish at the young duo of Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire. That pair drew some trade interest at the start of the offseason, but they remain on hand as spring training approaches.