Sandy Leon was dropped from the Rangers team but reassigned the next day to the minor league team. The surprise announcement was made just before the Texas Rangers played Kansas City in an exhibition match this week. Both teams share the same spring training complex in Arizona.
Why the veteran catcher was released and reassigned to the minors remains to be seen. Commentators expect the reason was that the Rangers were due to pay Leon a $100’000 bonus after ending 2022 on a 40-man roster. Rangers likely didn’t want to fork out the 100k to Leon or keep him on the active roster, so dropping him down to the minors was a solution. A common occurrence in the world of Texas baseball.
The Texas Rangers are Leon’s 4th team in the past year. Cleveland Guardians brought him on for Spring training last year but was released before the start of the season. Cincinnati Reds signed him up as a free agent before he was sold to the Guardians a few months later. After this, he was traded to Minnesota and then become a free agent once again.
Leon was signed before spring training. He played a total of 533 games over 11 seasons for five different teams before joining the Texas Rangers. Highly respected at the club by the younger members, the 34-year-old could potentially be back on the squad if one of the active pitches gets injured or can’t play, but this will be highly unlikely.