Red Sox trade Sandy Leon for minor-league pitcher

Rob Bradford
December 02, 2019 - 11:48 am

The Red Sox will have a new backup catcher in 2020.

The team announced Monday that it had traded Sandy Leon to the Indians for minor-league pitcher Adenys Bautista. It puts the Sox' 40-man roster at 37 players.

Leon was a prime candidate to be non-tendered, with the deadline teams to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players coming Monday night at 8. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Leon is expected to receive $2.8 million in arbitration.

The 21-year-old Bautista hasn't pitched above Rookie League, totaling a 5.98 ERA in 27 pro appearances.

Leon, 30, served a valuable role during his time with the Red Sox, often-times representing the preferred batterymate for starting pitchers (including Chris Sale). He struggled mightily offensively over the past two seasons, failing to hit better than .192 in either 2018 or 2019. Leon's best offensive season by far came in 2016 when the switch-hitter hit .310 with an .845 OPS.

As 2019 progressed it became evident that the Red Sox were prioritizing playing Christian Vazquez more than in previous seasons, with Leon finishing having played in just 65 games.