Phillies Designate Contract of Tommy Joseph for Assignment
The Phillies officially announced the signing of pitcher Jake Arrieta on Monday afternoon. Arrieta has passed his physical and he will be introduced to the media in Clearwater on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. With Arrieta joining a full 40-man roster, that means that someone could not stay. That will be first baseman Tommy Joseph.
The Phillies announced that they designated for assignment the contract of first baseman Joseph. That means the Phillies have 10 days to trade, release, or reassign Joseph to the minor leagues. If Joseph were to be assigned to the minor leagues, he would first have to pass through waivers.
The Phillies might be willing to keep Joseph at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They have been very supportive of helping Joseph find a new home this Spring. Though the Phillies have Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana who can cover first base, Joseph's primary position, Joseph has gotten regular at bats and has seen time in the outfield, while getting some work in at first base. Joseph could continue to work on his versatility at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
However, another team may choose to claim Joseph, which would only cost them a roster spot. The Kansas City Royals are a team without a clear first baseman after Eric Hosmer turned down a long-term contract to stay in order to sign an eight-year deal with the San Diego Padres. They might not want to give him a job, but perhaps give him some time at first base during Cactus League play to show that he belongs.
That could be why the Phillies went this route. While a team may not wish to trade for someone such as Joseph, he may have the best opportunity in being claimed and getting some Spring Training work in.
Joseph has hit .429 with three doubles and a .500 on base percentage so far this Spring.