The Mets have agreed to a deal with free-agent catcher Caleb Joseph, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports (via Twitter). It’s a split contract, per Morosi, which would register as a bit of a surprise given that such a deal would place him on the 40-man roster (albeit with separate rates of pay in the Majors versus in Triple-A). Barstool’s Eric Arditti first suggested the two sides had reached a deal last night (Twitter link).
Joseph, 34, spent the 2020 season with the Blue Jays organization but was on the taxi squad for most of the season. He did log three games in the big leagues and go 1-for-8 — his long hit of the season standing as a home run.
The vast majority of Joseph’s career has come in an Orioles uniform. The former seventh-round pick made his big league debut with Baltimore back in 2014 and spent time as a backup with them each year until 2018. Joseph, who also had a brief stint with the 2019 D-backs, is a career .222/.270/.351 hitter in 1367 plate appearances.
Clearly, Joseph has never been a huge threat at the plate, but he’s thwarted 31 percent of stolen-base attempts against him over parts of seven big league seasons and is generally regarded as above-average with regard to pitch framing. He’s also a .256/.311/.393 hitter in his career at Triple-A, although that’s a sample of just 489 plate appearances. Adding Joseph will help the Mets to replace some of the depth lost when they designated Ali Sanchez for assignment earlier this month and subsequently traded him to the Cardinals.