The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent catcher Sandy León to a minor league deal according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The switch-hitter has spent parts of the previous 10 seasons in Major League Baseball. Some of those seasons came with a lot more playing time than others.

Back in 2016 he had what was by far his best season. As a then 27-year-old with the Boston Red Sox he hit .310/.369/.476 with 26 extra-base hits in 78 games played. Outside of that season, though, he’s struggled to hit at every other stop. For his career he’s hit .212/.277/.319. In the last four seasons he’s hit .179/.245/.277 in 262 games played.While he’s a switch hitter, he hasn’t exactly been good from either side of the plate. In his career he’s been a tad stronger from the right side of the plate, hitting .222/.292/.333 in the big leagues.

With a minor league deal and the clear struggles to hit at all, this appears to be a move for depth. Cincinnati has three catchers on the 40-man roster currently with Tyler Stephenson, Aramis Garcia, and in the minors there’s Mark Kolozsvary who is with Double-A Chattanooga. Where exactly León fits in at the minor league level is uncertain. In Triple-a you have Chris Okey and Chuckie Robinson. In Double-A the Lookouts are carrying three catchers – Kolozsvary, as well as James Free and Eric Yang. Certainly the Reds won’t send León lower than either of those two levels, but it will be interesting to see where he fits in as a big league veteran who is heading to the minors and what kind of playing time he will get on a team with much younger options.

The Reds also signed Ross Detwiler

Not sure if we simply missed it, or if it had gone unreported, but the Cincinnati Reds signed reliever Ross Detwiler to a minor league deal last week. In 2021 he pitched with the Marlins and the Padres, posting a 4.64 ERA between the two stops in 52.1 innings where he walked 20, struck out 62, and had a 1.22 WHIP. He’s currently assigned to the rookie-level team that operates out of the Reds complex in Goodyear, but their season doesn’t begin until mid-summer. It’s just a paper assignment – he has to be on a roster once signed. Unless there’s an unknown injury, though, expect to see him show up at a higher level soon.

19 Responses

  1. MK

    Can’t players be assigned to extended Spring Training?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes and no. Extended spring training isn’t an actual thing in terms of “officialness”. Players have to be on one of the rosters, even if it’s a situation where a guy is on the Triple-A injured list but has never even been to Louisville and is actually out in Arizona at the complex. It’s all just paperwork mumbo jumbo.

      • Ken

        Extended spring training used to be a program for first- or second-year guys slated to play in short-season Class A. Since the Class A short season used to start after the draft, those reassigned to the same level had to have a place to work out. It also served as a rehab situation for players on the mend from injury. That was how it was when I worked in the game, but things have certainly changed since then.

  2. MK

    Detwiler is left handed and has a pulse which I guess makes him a legit option, but neither of these guys have been competitive for a while.

    • LDS

      Bell is probably begging that they be brought up immediately. These are his kind of players.

  3. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    A name change is in order for this organization, The Cincinnati Retreads, “bargain” basement purchases and rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic is their specialty.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I love it. The Retreads. Should get a shirt made up.

    • TR

      Why let Cleveland get all the notoriety in the name change game?

  4. CI3J

    Lovely. More low .200 hitters and 4.50 ERA+ pitchers. Literally the story of the entire offseason.

    Guess this is what they meant about aligning resources.

  5. Private Gripweed

    The Reds and minor league deals. Name a more iconic duo.

  6. Michael B. Green

    I like the Leon signing. He is great at handling pitchers and gives us some nice depth at catcher.

  7. Jeffery

    Play the teenagers that have takent

  8. Jeffery

    Johnny Bench would have started his rookie season at 28 with this bunch.

  9. earmbrister

    Yeah right, “probably”. I’m sure that Bell is spending his time analyzing the latest signings for organizational depth. Makes perfect sense.

    If you have EVER followed baseball more than casually, EVERY team makes these type of pickups throughout the year.

    • earmbrister

      … a reply to LDS and his analytical thinking

      • LDS

        They do indeed. The question is how many of these “depth moves” wind up being called up. In the Reds case, too many. I still believe in winning. Sadly, the organization does not – as Phil C made clear just this week.