Longtime Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph was non-tendered by the team last week and delivered a heartfelt tribute to O’s fans and the organization on Twitter, but it is still possible that he could be back in orange and black next spring.
The non-tender means that the team decided not to go through salary arbitration with him, but that does not disqualify the Orioles from trying to sign him to a contract on their own terms.
If Joseph’s lengthy tweet seems to indicate that he doesn’t expect that to happen, well, who knows? He has been a very valuable part of the club in spite of his spotty offensive production and would seem to be someone who could still help with the development of the organization’s young pitchers.
“What I WILL NEVER FORGET is the way the fans, staff, and my teammates embraced me and my family,’’ the last paragraphs of the Tweet read. “To each and every one I came in contact with as an Oriole and all of its affiliates I want to extend my sincerest gratitude for the love and support you showed us over a decade.
“I married my wife and had two kids while being an Oriole. Baltimore will always have a special place in our hearts. This isn’t ‘goodbye,’ but hopefully ‘see you later.’
“Thank you Birdland.”
Joseph has been in the organization so long that — during his lengthy stay at the Double-A level — he was light-heartedly known as “the mayor of Bowie.” He finally got his chance to play regularly at the major league level when Matt Wieters had to undergo elbow surgery.
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His ups and downs at the plate are well-documented, but he was always a solid defender behind it and will land somewhere as a dependable backup if he does not end up re-signing with the O’s.