Well, this is some terrible news for all of you Sandy Leon diehards out there...
The Boston Red Sox traded your boy on Monday to avoid having to pay him to be their backup catcher next season. That's right, Leon was arbitration eligible and his projected earnings for the 2020 season were $2.8 million. The Red Sox, who are trying to cut back on payroll, said nuh uh not gonna happen. Instead, they dealt him to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for 21-year-old minor league relief pitcher Adenys Bautista.
Wow. What a deal! So is this pitcher the Red Sox got the next Pedro Martinez? I doubt it. Here's what MassLive had to say about him.
"The 21-year-old Bautista posted a 7.79 ERA in 17 ⅓ innings of relief combined between the Dominican Summer League and rookie ball during 2019."
So that's not really a prospect.
Yeah, so this was more of a salary dump than anything. The Red Sox are going to look for a cheaper backup catching option. Blake Swihart is a free agent, but I doubt they go that route. There's no one currently in the organization who seems like they'd be able to handle that backup catching job, if we're being honest.
Christian Vazquez is turning into a steady, dependable player, so the team will probably take that into consideration and try to get a backup catcher for the league minimum. A financially shrewd move, yes. It could be risky if Vazquez gets hurt, but they must have assessed that risk.
I guess this settles the debate on the value of Catcher ERA. The Red Sox must not value it a ton because while some of us thought Leon was worth keeping because of that metric, the Red Sox disagreed. Chris Sale's personal catcher just wasn't worth it for them.