The Red Sox parted with catcher Sandy León, trading him away to the Indians in return for minor league pitcher Adenys Bautista. The Tribe cleared room on their 40-man roster for León by designating pitcher James Hoyt for assignment.
León, 30, played five seasons with the Sox starting in 2015, after seeing limited action over his first three big league seasons with the Nationals. In all, León played in 358 Red Sox games, slashing .223 AVG/.283 OBP/.339 SLG with 24 home runs and 118 RBI.
Among active catchers with at least 300 starts, León’s 32.2% caught stealing rate was 5th-best in baseball (teammate Christian Vázquez’ 37.6% rate has been best). León also enjoyed a 3.74 catchers ERA since 2015, also 5th-best among active Major League catchers with at least 300 starts.
While some might reasonably argue that a catcher’s offense is secondary, León’s 64 OPS+ since 2015 was dead last among the 30 MLB catchers with 350 or more games. Fully 18 of the 30 catchers on that list had an OPS+ of at least 90, indicating performance within 10% of league average. Eight of the 30 recorded an OPS+ above 100.
Bautista, 21, appeared in 14 games last season, split evenly between the Indians of the Dominican Summer League and club’s rookie-level Arizona League affiliate, going 1-1 with a 7.79 ERA over 17.1 IP of relief.