Veteran unsurprisingly moves on from KC Royals after spring training finale

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The KC Royals wrapped up Cactus League action on Saturday, tying with the Texas Rangers 1-1. The Royals now have one more exhibition game remaining before Opening Day. The final 26-man roster hasn't been released, but catcher Sandy León will not be on it or in the Royals organization period.

Sandy León ended his KC Royals tenure after the spring training finale.

Shortly after the tied game, Kansas City announced the 35-year-old veteran requested his release, and the Royals obliged. The move comes as no surprise after León failed to impress as a non-roster invitee in Kansas City. He played in 11 Cactus League games, slashing a paltry .118/.167/.118 with seven strikeouts. León was never known for producing at the plate, but his spring performance made his 2024 status untenable.

León joined the Royals with strong defensive credentials but lacked an immediate role in Kansas City. His signing was a surprise, but his release is hardly one. Royals fans have to be happy with the team's catching depth heading into 2024. Team captain Salvador Perez will likely start Opening Day, but share 2024 duties behind the plate with the upstart Freddy Fermin. Austin Nola, Logan Porter, and Tyler Cropley all remain with the organization.

That list doesn't include some of the promising catching prospects Kansas City has either. Fans saw Carter Jensen and Blake Mitchell this spring, albeit for brief stints. Both are among the organization's best prospects, followed by the red-hot Ramon Ramirez.

León, born in 1989, began his career with the Washington Nationals, making his debut on May 14, 2012. Over his career, León played for multiple teams, including the Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and Cleveland teams. His time with the Red Sox was a highlight, where he contributed to their 2018 World Series Championship.

Peak performance came in 2016 with the Red Sox, posting a .310 batting average with 78 hits, including seven home runs. Despite fluctuations in his batting average, he remained a dependable defensive catcher. In his later years, León faced challenges in securing a major league spot, ending his career with a .208 batting average, 31 home runs, and 149 RBI over 1549 at-bats.

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