Sandy Leon traded to Indians

The Gray Eagle

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Aug 1, 2001
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Leon traded for a minor league reliever who isn't much of a prospect.

Bautista's unimpressive stats:

But it's decent work to get a live body for a guy who wasn't likely to be tendered a contract and who we already cut loose last year.

So long Sandy Leon, the pitcher's friend, Mr. Catcher's ERA, one of the 25 on the greatest Red Sox team I've ever seen.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I wonder who #2 @ 2 is thus coming year?
They've got just one catcher on the 40-man roster right now, and that's Vazquez, and no one else in the organization who's played above AA. And incidentally, two of the three that have reached AA are Rule 5 eligible so they might even disappear. Seems pretty clear back-up and AAA catchers are on Bloom's shopping list this winter. The only question is what is their ceiling for a back-up catcher, because the clear upgrades over Leon are likely to be pricier than he projected to be (~$2.3M per MLBTR).

Here's what I could find of available free agents with a minimum career OPS over .600:

Robinson Chirinos .767 (age 36)
Jonathan Lucroy .751 (34)
Russell Martin .746 (37)
Alex Avila .744 (33)
Wellington Castillo .738 (33)
Francisco Cervelli .738 (34)
Matt Wieters .724 (34)
Yan Gomes .717 (32)
Jason Castro .703 (33)
Blake Swihart .656 (28)
Austin Romine .647 (31)
Martin Maldonado .644 (33)
Rob Brantly .626 (30)
Rene Rivera .626 (36)
Bryan Holaday .626 (32)
Chris Herrmann .626 (32)
Ryan Lavarnway .613 (32)
Erik Kratz .606 (40)
Juan Centano .601 (30)

Not all that inspiring, but plenty of serviceable guys if they're willing to play for cheap and in a back-up capacity.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Leon's OPS+ with Boston, 2015-2019:

20, 122, 68, 37, 42

We'll always have 2016.
 

Bergs

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Leon's OPS+ with Boston, 2015-2019:

20, 122, 68, 37, 42

We'll always have 2016.
That was one of the most inexplicable 3-month tears I've ever seen. Of course he started sucking by September.
 

Van Everyman

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Leon's OPS+ with Boston, 2015-2019:

20, 122, 68, 37, 42

We'll always have 2016.
Leon’s 2018 was actually quite good in May and June until Vaz went down and he had to catch virtually everyday until mid-September.

I’ll miss him a little.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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Bautista's unimpressive stats:

But it's decent work to get a live body for a guy who wasn't likely to be tendered a contract and who we already cut loose last year.
I haven't seen many players in the DSL make it to the USA in their age 20/21 season. He has that going for him.

edit: To clarify, most teams don't bother with DSL players that old.
 

shaggydog2000

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Apr 5, 2007
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Obvious question: Why is Leon sought after by Cleveland, but not the Red Sox?
Because the best player they have at the position put up a 98 WRC+ in 2019, but only a 40 WRC+ in 2018, and just went in for an ankle surgery at age 31? And the backup doesn't look like he was all that great either. Their catching prospects also aren't very well rated. Maybe the Sons of Joe Charboneau are asking what the Indians FO is hiding about that surgery? For the cost of a non-prospect, taking a flier on a guy who started at various times for a championship team doesn't sound that dumb.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Obvious question: Why is Leon sought after by Cleveland, but not the Red Sox?
Their catchers in 2019 were Roberto Perez (OPS+ 99, 118 games played), Kevin Plawecki (OPS+ 64, 57 games), and Eric Haase (OPS+ -8, 8 games).

I imagine it's a case of having more financial wiggle room and taking a shot that he'll provide something they aren't getting from who they have...maybe work his magic on the pitching the way he supposedly did with guys like Sale and Porcello. Worst comes to worst, maybe they find someone in need of a catcher late in spring training and flip him for something appreciably better than Adenys Bautista.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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They've got just one catcher on the 40-man roster right now, and that's Vazquez, and no one else in the organization who's played above AA. And incidentally, two of the three that have reached AA are Rule 5 eligible so they might even disappear. Seems pretty clear back-up and AAA catchers are on Bloom's shopping list this winter. The only question is what is their ceiling for a back-up catcher, because the clear upgrades over Leon are likely to be pricier than he projected to be (~$2.3M per MLBTR).

Here's what I could find of available free agents with a minimum career OPS over .600:

Robinson Chirinos .767 (age 36)
Jonathan Lucroy .751 (34)
Russell Martin .746 (37)
Alex Avila .744 (33)
Wellington Castillo .738 (33)
Francisco Cervelli .738 (34)
Matt Wieters .724 (34)
Yan Gomes .717 (32)
Jason Castro .703 (33)
Blake Swihart .656 (28)
Austin Romine .647 (31)
Martin Maldonado .644 (33)
Rob Brantly .626 (30)
Rene Rivera .626 (36)
Bryan Holaday .626 (32)
Chris Herrmann .626 (32)
Ryan Lavarnway .613 (32)
Erik Kratz .606 (40)
Juan Centano .601 (30)

Not all that inspiring, but plenty of serviceable guys if they're willing to play for cheap and in a back-up capacity.
You can cross Yan Gomes off that list (he re-upped with the Nats).

Of that list, Castro is the obvious fit to split time with Vaz. I still kinda like Cervelli though, especially if he can also be a part-time first baseman.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
This is basically a trade of a guy who costs little and is worth less for a guy who costs next to nothing and isn't even worth that. Seems like purely a cost-cutting move. But for that to make sense they have to have a plan to acquire a pre-arb backup catcher. (Or, I suppose, an arb-level backup who provides significantly more value than Leon, if such a being exists and can be had for a sensible price.)

OTOH, maybe there's something to Bautista that the Indians didn't see. (If so, it was well hidden. That stat line is horrific.) If Bautista amounts to anything, it will be the first chapter in the Legend of Chaim.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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According to Steve Adams, MLB Trade Rumors, "Plawecki rated as the better defender in 2019, hit better than Leon over the past several seasons and was the cheaper option with two additional seasons of club control. Leon will be a free agent at season’s end."

Also, according to a contributor for MLBTR, Plawecki was projected to make $1.5M in 2020 while Leon is projected at $2.8M, which leads to the question of why Cleveland was willing to swap an Arizona League pitcher for someone making a lot more money.
 

chawson

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Also, a lot of the rumored destinations for Mookie (LAD, ATL, STL) have young catching prospects coming back as part of the return.
 

nvalvo

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Also, a lot of the rumored destinations for Mookie (LAD, ATL, STL) have young catching prospects coming back as part of the return.
I’d be interested to read about those rumored returns, if you wanted to start a thread about them.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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As an Indians fan, I don't see the point except for being overly cautious about Perez's health. They should know whether Perez is 100% before spring training, so it wouldn't surprise me if they simply cut bait with Leon before they're required to pay him. I felt Plawecki played better than his numbers (he's at least good behind the plate) and he's out of options. Eric Haase is probably still better than what most organizations have at AAA (legit power and heading into his age 27 season, which is still youngish for a catcher, but he's never going to make enough contact in the majors).
 

jon abbey

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As an Indians fan, I don't see the point except for being overly cautious about Perez's health. They should know whether Perez is 100% before spring training, so it wouldn't surprise me if they simply cut bait with Leon before they're required to pay him. I felt Plawecki played better than his numbers (he's at least good behind the plate) and he's out of options. Eric Haase is probably still better than what most organizations have at AAA (legit power and heading into his age 27 season, which is still youngish for a catcher, but he's never going to make enough contact in the majors).
Plawecki non-tendered, so looks like Leon is their backup C.
 

Teachdad46

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Oct 14, 2011
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#2 is a good way to put it.

I'm still pining for Blake to Rake at Fenway.
He's possibly the youngest candidate anyway.
I would like to suggest that the Sox brain trust, pre and post Chaim's coming on board, do NOT believe Blake should EVER be behind the plate for the Sox.
 

chawson

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I’d be interested to read about those rumored returns, if you wanted to start a thread about them.
I had forgotten who originated those trade scenarios, but went back and discovered it was Jim Bowden, writing in the Athletic on Nov. 13.

It’s paywalled (and it’s Bowden), but he floated packages containing catchers from each of those teams — Keibert Ruiz from Los Angeles, William Contreras from Atlanta, Andrew Knizner from St. Louis.
 

TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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Few batters looked so smooth and effortless striking out on pitches in the dirt as Sandy did. And the hustle after... those pads ain't gonna put themselves back on!

Half my heart/head says to buy-in on 130+ games of Vaz, and the other half wishes it was an area we had room/motivation to improve. I don't have the stats or knowledge, but gotta think that few players benefitted more from the live-ball era (2019-????) than Vaz.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I had forgotten who originated those trade scenarios, but went back and discovered it was Jim Bowden, writing in the Athletic on Nov. 13.

It’s paywalled (and it’s Bowden), but he floated packages containing catchers from each of those teams — Keibert Ruiz from Los Angeles, William Contreras from Atlanta, Andrew Knizner from St. Louis.
Can we distinguish once and for all the difference between rumors and speculation? You suggested rumored returns for Mookie, which implies that there has been talk and parameters discussed by people with direct involvement (be it packages Bloom is seeking or packages other teams are willing to offer). Then you cite an article where the author is tossing out ideas that he most likely came up with all on his own. Bowden is basically a sports radio caller making up ideas. Regardless of his credentials, it's not really much to go on at all.
 

chawson

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Can we distinguish once and for all the difference between rumors and speculation? You suggested rumored returns for Mookie, which implies that there has been talk and parameters discussed by people with direct involvement (be it packages Bloom is seeking or packages other teams are willing to offer). Then you cite an article where the author is tossing out ideas that he most likely came up with all on his own. Bowden is basically a sports radio caller making up ideas. Regardless of his credentials, it's not really much to go on at all.
Yikes, sorry man. You’re right, I shouldn’t have said rumors. Though I think with some sports journalism, the material difference between unattributable rumor and informed speculation can be razor thin.

For instance, Rosenthal speculated last week that Moustakas would sign with the Reds — a pretty wild guess considering they already had a third baseman. Was that just a total shot in the dark?

Bowden’s been entrenched in my mind as kind of a fool since he ran the Nationals 15 years ago, but he seems different to me than just a run of the mill blogger. It’s speculation, yes, but he’s in the same “newsroom” as Rosenthal, and I have to think he’s still pretty well connected.
 
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mauf

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I assumed Leon would be non-tendered, so unless the player they got in return is a negative asset, there’s nothing not to like about this deal.

Based on the list of available catchers posted above, I’m not concerned that the Sox will fail to find an upgrade on Leon who will sign a one-year deal for roughly the veteran minimum. It’s hard to guess at who values what, but among the veteran retreads, there will be at least a couple who want a major-league contract and the near-certainty of a full season of service time, even if that means passing on the opportunity for a larger role. (Besides, CV isn’t exactly Iron Man; the potential for a larger role exists here as well.)