Former World Series-winning catcher signs with Braves

The Braves have signed catcher Sandy Leon and right-hander Jackson Stephens to minor league contracts, as per the bio pages for each gamers.  For Stephens, he returns to the group after rejecting an outright project in favor of free agency earlier this week.

Leon’s addition looks as if a pure depth transfer for the Braves with Sean Murphy on the 10-day injured listing.  Since there normally isn’t a set timeline for indirect accidents, it isn’t but identified when Murphy could be again in motion, so signing Leon provides Atlanta a bit extra flexibility at Triple-A Gwinnett.  Travis d’Arnaud and Chadwick Tromp are dealing with catching duties on the massive league roster, and Sebastian Rivero was the one catcher on the Gwinnett roster with any prior MLB expertise.

The 35-year-old Leon has performed in every of the final 12 Main League seasons, suiting up for six totally different groups.  Leon has additionally been a part of the Reds and Royals organizations with out seeing any regular-season taking part in time, as Leon took half in Kansas Metropolis’s coaching camp this previous spring after being signed to a minors deal.  The Royals determined that they had sufficient catching depth and launched Leon again on March 23, so it didn’t take lengthy for Leon to land one other alternative.

Protection and game-calling has lengthy been Leon’s calling card, permitting him to carve out an extended profession as a part-timer and backup catcher regardless of a .208/.276/.311 slash line over 1729 profession plate appearances.  He received a World Sequence ring with the 2018 Purple Sox and appeared in 21 video games for one more championship simply final season with the Rangers, although Leon spent most of 2023 with the Triple-A associates of the Rangers and Guardians.

Stephens was first outrighted off a 40-man roster again in 2019 when he was a member of the Reds, and he has since had the power to reject another outright project in favor of free company.  Since he’s now out of minor league choices, Stephens has bounced on and off Atlanta’s 40-man a number of occasions since first becoming a member of the workforce in the course of the 2021-22 offseason, opting without spending a dime company after which returning after some time period on a brand new contract.  Final November, Stephens once more opted without spending a dime company earlier than re-signing on a break up contract with the Braves, and it isn’t identified if this new deal can be a break up association or if it’s only a straight minor league pact.

Stephens posted a 4.83 ERA over 63 1/3 innings with the Reds from 2017-18, then spent the following three seasons pitching within the minors, the Mexican League, and on the sidelines altogether as a result of canceled 2020 minor league marketing campaign.  He resurfaced after signing with the Braves and has a decent 3.56 ERA, 20.2 % strikeout charge, and 9.8% stroll charge in 65 2/3 frames because the begin of the 2022 season.  Thirty-nine of Stephens’ 44 Atlanta appearances befell in 2022, because the righty spent a number of final 12 months both within the minors or in DFA/free-agent limbo.

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