The Boston Red Sox added some catching depth Monday morning, acquiring catcher Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals in exchange for cash.
The Red Sox also placed catcher Christian Vazquez on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain, which ultimately is what precipitated the Leon acquisition.
Leon will be assigned to Boston’s major-league camp and is expected to join the club Tuesday.
The 26-year-old switch-hitter adds some depth behind the plate for Boston as the regular season nears. Leon has appeared in 34 games over the course of his three-year career, playing in 20 games in 2014, when he hit .156 (10-for-64) with one home run and three RBIs. Leon should be able to help control the running game. He threw out five of eight would-be base stealers last season, and has gunned down 40 percent of runners over the course of his big league career.
The move also likely means Red Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart will start the season in the minors. The 23-year-old is hitting .296 with one home run and five RBIs this spring, but extended time in the minors would help sharpen his game, especially on defense.
The Red Sox also have Ryan Hanigan in the fold after acquiring the veteran backstop from the San Diego Padres in the offseason. He figures to be Boston’s regular catcher to start the season.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images