Baltimore Orioles: Diamondbacks Sign Former Oriole Caleb Joseph
Former Baltimore Orioles catcher finds a new home out west.
Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph has agreed to a major league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal is for one year and worth $1.1 million. The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan was first to report the deal.
The 32-year-old Joseph will provide a veteran leadership role with the Diamondbacks, similar to the role he provided with the Orioles throughout the last few seasons in Baltimore. As MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko pointed out, the O’s had discussed bringing back Joseph on a minor league deal, however, holding out a bit longer proved to be the right move for the backstop.
Joseph will be remembered in Baltimore as a unique story. He did not make his major league debut until 2014 when he was 28 years old. After almost quitting on the game while in the minor leagues, Joseph made his major league debut in his seventh year in the Orioles’ system. He quickly made a mark, becoming the first rookie Orioles’ catcher to hit a home run in five consecutive games, from August 2nd-9th in 2014.
Joseph will also be remembered in Baltimore for his solid defense and inconsistent hitting. He gunned down at least 30% of would-be base stealers in four of his five seasons in Baltimore, including leading the American League with a 40% mark in his rookie season.
More from Birds Watcher
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
- Orioles News: Predicting the Opening Day Infield and More MLB News
- Last Chance O’s Fans: Bet $40, Win $700 if ONE POINT is Scored in ANY NFL Game This Week
- Predicting the Baltimore Orioles Opening Day Infield
While he was a good defensive catcher and noted pitch framer, Joseph never quite provided the bat the Orioles needed at the catching position. He was inconsistent throughout his career, most notably in 2016 when he followed a very solid 11 home run, 49 RBI season by hitting .174 and setting the MLB record for most at bats (132) without an RBI.
The inconsistency continued with the bat in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, he had a bounce-back season in which he hit a career-high .256 with eight home runs, but he struggled again in 2018, hitting .219 with a .575 OPS, three home runs, and 17 RBI.
Despite the inconsistency with the bat, he will be missed in Baltimore. He provided veteran leadership that the Orioles don’t have at the moment, and was an easy player to root for and a personality to love. However, now is time for former top prospect Chance Sisco to step up, with Joseph officially gone.
Do you have a favorite memory of Joseph’s tenure with the Baltimore Orioles? Let us know!