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Rangers release veteran catcher León from minor league deal

Chicago Cubs' Dansby Swanson (7) slides past the tag of Texas Rangers catcher Sandy Leon, left, to score a run as umpire Cory Blaser looks on during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 24, 2023, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers released veteran catcher Sandy León from his minor league contract after breaking camp from Arizona.

Texas announced the move Monday before an exhibition game at home in Texas against Kansas City, the team they share a spring training complex with in Surprise, Arizona.

León signed with the Rangers just before the start of spring training. The 34-year-old catcher played 533 games with five teams over the last 11 seasons.

Mitch Garver is back after missing the second half of last season with the Rangers because of surgery on his right (throwing) arm last July. Jonah Heim caught 111 games last season and Texas also has catching prospect Sam Huff.

The Rangers were the fourth different franchise León has been with since last year. He went to spring training last season with the Cleveland Guardians, was released before the season, then he signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds on April 16. The Guardians reacquired him on June 28, and traded him to Minnesota on Aug. 2 before he became a free agent after the season..

In 33 games combined for the Guardians and Twins last season, he hit .169 with no homers and four RBIs. He is a career .210 hitter, also appearing in the big leagues for Boston, Washington and Miami.

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