The inevitable has finally occurred. The Boston Red Sox were reportedly shopping Sandy Leon toward the end of spring training, but the team couldn’t find a suitor. According to multiple reports, the Boston Red Sox designated backup catcher Sandy Leon for assignment. The team will roll with Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez at catcher in 2019.
Sandy Leon Designated for Assignment
The Boston Red Sox entered spring training with three catchers with the understanding that all three probably wouldn’t last the season with Boston. Leon is the odd man out, as he lost the battle for the backup spot behind Christian Vazquez. Leon posted a .250/.382/.357 slash line in 34 spring training plate appearances. Blake Swihart, meanwhile, posted a .360/.385/.480 slash line in 25 spring training appearances.
Leon spent the majority of the past four seasons with the Boston Red Sox. A defensive-minded catcher, Leon was a favorite among the pitching staff, especially with former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. Porcello called Leon “the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to” during August of last season. However, Leon’s bat couldn’t justify a spot on the active roster, as he slashed just .177/.232/.279 with a 33 wRC+ in 2018.
Leon finished his Red Sox career with a .229/.289/.347 slash line in 1,000 career plate appearances. His best season came during the 2016 season when he finished the season with a .310/.369/.476 slash line and a 124 wRC+. In one of the greatest aberrations of all time, Leon was one of the best all-around catchers in baseball for the majority of the 2016 season.
Leon initially entered professional baseball as a member of the Washington Nationals. Making his rookie league debut in 2007, Leon made a brief cameo in the majors during the 2012 season. The switch-hitting catcher spent all but two games in 2013 in the minors before making a 20-game cameo on the Nationals during the 2014 season. In all, Leon appeared in 32 major league games with Washington before the Nationals traded him to the Red Sox for cash considerations.