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Rangers claim 1B Tommy Joseph on waivers from Phillies

(AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) The Texas Rangers have claimed first baseman Tommy Joseph off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rangers made the move Monday, a week after the Phillies designated him for assignment when they signed free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta.

The 26-year-old Joseph hit over 20 home runs in each of his two seasons in the majors. He batted .240 with 22 homers and 69 RBIs while starting 125 times at first last year.

Philadelphia signed power-hitting free agent Carlos Santana to play first this season.

Joseph was traded from San Francisco to the Phillies in July 2012 as part of a package for outfielder Hunter Pence. Highly regarded at the time, Joseph was projected to be Philadelphia's catcher of the future until a series of concussions prompted the Phillies to turn him into a first baseman three years later.

Joseph made his big league debut in May 2016 and hit .257 with 21 home runs and 47 RBIs.

In 11 spring training games this year, Joseph hit .429 (9 for 21) before being cut.

Texas put right-hander Clayton Blackburn on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Updated March 19, 2018

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