The Baltimore Orioles could reunite with a former fan-favorite this offseason.
The 2019 Winter Meetings have come and gone with the Baltimore Orioles making their way back to the east coast with three new pitchers in Marcos Diplan (a waiver claim from Detroit), Brandon Bailey (first round Rule 5 pick out of Houston), Michael Rucker (their second-round Rule 5 pick out of the Chicago Cubs organization), and two additions through the minor league phase of the Rule 5.
As expected, it was a quiet week for the Baltimore Orioles outside of front office/coaching interviews, gauging the market for trade chips like Mychal Givens and Trey Mancini, and talking with agents as the Orioles look to fill out their roster with additional pitching and middle infield help.
The other item on Mike Elias’ shopping list was a fourth catching option to add spring depth behind Pedro Severino, Chance Sisco, and Austin Wynns, all of whom are currently on the Orioles 40-man roster.
Speaking at Saturday’s Winter Warm-Up, Baltimore’s attempt to replace the annual Fan Fest event with smaller events designed to engage fans during the offseason, Mike Elias stated his desire to bring in a former fan-favorite backstop in Caleb Joseph.
Up to this point, talk surrounding Caleb Joseph was more just MASN’s Roch Kubatko routinely pointing out that Joseph was about to be or had been designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this offseason, but this is the first time we’ve heard anything substantial to this idea.
Joseph, 33, would likely sign to a minor league deal and, according to Fangraphs, he still has an option remaining. Austin Wynns also has an option remaining, meaning if both veterans are kept after spring training, they could split time behind the plate in Norfolk and be called upon when needed in Baltimore.
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So, why not? The Orioles want catching depth, the starting job belongs to Adley Rutschman soon enough, and this team isn’t losing less than 100 games for at least another year, likely two years. As someone who watches the Tides on a nightly basis, I’m down for seeing old friend Caleb Joseph again. Honestly, I rather watch Joseph in the big leagues over another inning of Chance Sisco pretending to be a catcher, but for some reason, there’s still a large contingent of Sisco believers out there. Kudos to you guys.
Joseph joined Adam Jones out in Arizona for the 2019 season, where the veteran catcher appeared in 20 games at the major league level and 48 in Triple-A.
Originally a seventh-round pick of the Orioles back in 2008, Joseph has played in 422 career games as a major leaguer, slashing .223/.270/.350 with 31 home runs. He’s been worth 4.5 Wins Above Replacement across his career, according to Baseball Reference.
Other notable quotes at the event included the idea of giving Ryan Mountcastle some time at second base and the team remains dedicated to Chris Davis. Alright, back to holiday shopping. Maybe that’s why I’m so cranky?