The Rangers announced that catcher Sandy León has been released from his minor league contract.
León, 34, was an Article XX(B) free agent and thus had the ability to opt out of his minor league deal this past weekend if not given a roster spot. It’s unknown if he did indeed trigger his opt-out, but the end result is the same as he’s now back on the open market and free to sign with any club.
The veteran has appeared in each of the past 11 seasons, earning a reputation as a strong defensive catcher. In his career, he’s racked up 34 Defensive Runs Saved and a 12.9 grade from the FanGraphs framing metric. He hasn’t been able to provide too much offense in that time, outside of an incredible 2016 season. His career batting line is .210/.278/.314 for a wRC+ of 58. Despite that tepid performance at the plate, the defense is strong enough to continue to get him opportunities around the league.
Despite that strong reputation, the Rangers don’t have much need on the roster for him. They have Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver lined up to handle the catching duties in the big leagues, with Sam Huff also on the 40-man and likely to be in Triple-A. But León should be able to get himself a job elsewhere, given his skills and the constant need for catching around the league. The A’s are currently dealing with an injury to Manny Piña while the Diamondbacks are set to proceed without Carson Kelly for a while after he fractured his forearm. Those are just a couple of examples that highlight how depth is important at the position given the likelihood of injuries. León and his reps can now talk with all the teams in the league and find the best fit.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Good riddance! At least he won’t be giving away outs! This likely means Garver and Heim
It’s not like he was going to get like 400 atbats. If he had made the team, he probably would have started once every 6-7 days. Plus it was a minors deal and it was always Heim and Garver. The only difference was if Huff was going to make the team or not which they optioned him last week.
catching is also the act of catching. Leon is a solid backstop with a bad bat.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Catchers who can catch are a penny a dozen. Catchers who can hit are worth their weight in gold.
Loved Sandy when he first arrived in Boston. His MLB time though may have caught up with him as comparing him and Vasquez, one learned how to be a decent clutch hitter and one didn’t. That said, I’m hoping he can stick somewhere as a backup.
Dewey if you remember his first stint with us he couldn’t make an out ( 2016) I thought finally a catcher that can hit!! Quite a defensive player though.. best example 2018 playoffs.. stopped many a wild pitches.. like you hope he can hang on somewhere..
Great with the glove but those first two months were special. A switch hitting catcher who could hit to all fields…oh well…
Dbacks GM Hazen and Manager Lovullo both have Boston roots, and both recently made vague comments about filling the backup catcher position in Arizona externally, after Carson Kelly was injured. Could this be the move?
Now that Leon and Bryan Shaw are both available, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before the Guardians bring them both back. I’m sure Michael Martinez is available too lol
And don’t forget Plawecki, too. Lol
Overweight below .200 singles hitters are not in vogue even today.