- The Washington Times - Monday, March 30, 2015

VIERA, Fla. — Sandy Leon packed his belongings into bags Monday morning in the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium. About 15 minutes earlier, he had been told that he was being traded to the Boston Red Sox, and thereby leaving the only organization he’s ever known.

The Washington Nationals later announced they will receive cash considerations in exchange for Leon, who was out of minor-league options and unlikely to make Washington’s 25-man roster. Though the catcher suspected he might be out of the organization by the end of spring, he was still surprised by the news.

“It feels kind of weird,” Leon said. “I’ve been here for a lot of years. But it’s going to be good for me getting an opportunity with another team. Just to be in the big leagues with whatever team, I think it’s good for every player.”

Leon will arrive at Boston’s spring-training complex in Fort Myers, Florida on Tuesday. The 26-year-old said he was not told whether he would immediately join the big-league team upon his arrival, but he is viewed as a logical replacement for Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain on Monday.

A native Venezuelan, Leon signed with the Nationals as an amateur free agent in 2007 and made his major-league debut in 2012. He hit .189 with one home run and five RBI in 107 plate-appearances with the Nationals.

“They’re awesome. This is a really good team, really good organization,” Leon said. “All of the coaches. I know all the coaches — Matt LeCroy, Bobby Henley, Randy Knorr’s been really good, I’ve known him for a lot of years. They’ve helped me out. They’ve helped me as a player, as a person.”

Leon said the only Red Sox player that he knows is Pablo Sandoval, who is also from Venezuela. However, Leon said he will be comfortable in Boston’s clubhouse because it has a lot of Latin American players.

Leon’s departure clears a spot on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, which is now at 38. The team could clear another spot by placing outfielder Nate McLouth on the 60-day disabled list to begin the season.

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