Baseball

Rangers Re-Sign Sandy Leon

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3:35pm: The Rangers announced that they’ve re-signed Leon to a new minor league contract.

12:15pm: The Rangers are re-signing veteran catcher Sandy Leon, tweets Robert Murray of FanSided. He spent spring training in camp with Texas but was released over the weekend. He’ll return — presumably on a new minor league pact — after surveying the market for other opportunities.

The veteran Leon, 34, had a solid spring with Texas, slashing .250/.333/.406 with a homer and two doubles through 36 plate appearances. Texas is set behind the plate with Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver expected to split catching duties, but Leon will give the club plenty an experienced backstop whose abilities with the glove and working with young pitchers are both highly respected.

Leon split the 2022 season between the Guardians and Twins, posting a combined .169/.298/.211 batting line in a tiny sample of 86 plate appearances. Outside of a clear outlier season back in 2016, when he slashed .310/.369/.476 with the Red Sox, he’s been a glove-first backup option. Since that standout season with the bat, Leon is a .190/.260/.292 hitter in 1167 plate appearances. Despite that lack of offense, he’s regularly turned in above-average to plus framing grades with strong marks in Defensive Runs Saved — all while thwarting a respectable 25.4% of stolen base attempts against him.

Beyond Heim and Garver, Texas also has Sam Huff as an option in the upper minors. Leon will give them a veteran complement who can be called up to serve as a backup if needed, whereas the organization likely prefers to continue getting Huff regular reps to the extent possible.

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