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.