The Washington Nationals have traded catcher Sandy Leon to the Boston Red Sox in a deal first reported by . . . Sandy Leon:
No word yet what the Nats are getting in return. Fact was, however, that Leon was out of options and he wasn’t going to make the Nats with Wilson Ramos and Jose Lobatan there. In Boston, Leon will likely be the backup catcher now that Christian Vazquez’s health is in serious doubt and Ryan Hanigan looks to take over the starting role. Humberto Quintero is still knocking around Sox camp too, so it’s not a sure thing, of course.
Leon hasn’t hit at all in a small number of big league plate appearances. He has done much better in the minors and, his primary calling card — his excellent arm — plays anyplace.
Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez has only appeared in six Grapefruit League games this spring due to a sore right elbow and triceps. It’s increasingly clear that he won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports that doctors found “something” in an MRI of Vazquez’s elbow. The 24-year-old is going for a second opinion, after which we should know more about this status. However, this quote from Vazquez isn’t very encouraging:
If Vazquez begins the season on the disabled list, some Red Sox fans will surely clamor for top prospect Blake Swihart to get the opportunity to fill in. Red Sox manager John Farrell didn’t dismiss the possibility in this story from Peter Abraham and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe yesterday, but odds are they’ll give him some more time in the minors. He has only played 18 games above Double-A. There’s also the service time issue to think about. The Red Sox could be forced to rely on a tandem of Ryan Hanigan and Humberto Quintero in the early part of the season.
Journeyman catcher Humberto Quintero has re-signed with the Mariners on a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Quintero has played 11 seasons in the majors for five different teams without ever topping 300 plate appearances in any year, but at age 34 he’s pretty borderline as even a backup-caliber catcher.
Last season he hit .237 with four homers and a .642 OPS in 46 games for the Mariners and Phillies, which was actually Quintero’s best OPS since 2009.