Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Red Sox place Sandy Leon on waivers

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Red Sox place Sandy Leon on waivers

Sandy Leon appears to be the odd man out behind the plate for the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox have placed the veteran catcher on waivers, WEEI's Evan Drellich reported Sunday. That means MLB's other clubs have 48 hours to claim Leon; if not, he can be assigned to Boston's minor league team, traded or released outright.

The Sox reportedly had been "actively discussing" trades for the 30-year-old catcher but apparently couldn't find a suitor with Opening Day just four days away.

Leon is an excellent defensive catcher and hit .310 during a stellar 2016 campaign but has fallen off steeply at the plate since, posting a .177 batting average over 89 games in 2018.

With Dustin Pedroia back in the fold, Boston was intent on carrying only two catchers into the regular season. Christian Vazquez likely will get the start Thursday in Seattle, with Blake Swihart in a backup role.

UPDATEThe Red Sox have informed Blake Swihart that he has made the team, per Evan Drellich. The team will roll with the duo of Vazquez and Swihart on Opening Day. 

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Red Sox designate Eduardo Nuñez for assignment

Red Sox designate Eduardo Nuñez for assignment

After Sunday night's extra innings loss to the National League-leading Dodgers, the Red Sox are making moves. 

Most notably, the Red Sox announced that they are designating Eduardo Nuñez for assignment. This means Boston is removing Nuñez from the 40-man roster, and he can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers within seven days. 

Nuñez, a hero of 2018's World Series run, has struggled this season to say the least. The 32-year-old is hitting .228 with a .243 on-base percentage, both career-lows. In the Red Sox second-baseman depth chart, he's behind Michael Chavis, Brock Holt and Marco Hernandez. 

Nuñez is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he likely wouldn't bring back much in a trade as a veteran rental.  

The Red Sox also sent Hector Velázquez, who pitched in all three of Boston's post-All-Star Break games, to Triple-A Pawtucket. Velázquez (5.67 ERA) allowed three earned runs in extra innings against the Dodgers on Sunday night. 

To replace Velázquez and Nuñez, the Sox called up Ryan Weber and Sam Travis to help the bullpen and first basemen depth, respectively. 

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Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts and Mike Trout are only MLB players with these stats

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USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts and Mike Trout are only MLB players with these stats

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is having the best season of his career, and his performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend was fantastic.

The 26-year-old shortstop batted 6-for-12 with six RBI and a home run in each of the three games at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts is hitting .301 with 20 homers and 71 RBI through 89 games this season, and he should be in the American League MVP discussion. He's even entered Mike Trout territory in some statistical categories, and that's when you really know you're enjoying a special season. 

Take a look at these stats:

Trout is considered by many people as baseball's best player, and the Los Angeles Angels outfielder has finished first or second in AL MVP voting in six of his seven full MLB seasons (including two wins). Bogaerts has been nearly as valuable to the Red Sox as Trout has been to the Angels this year.

One of the most impressive aspects of Bogaerts' season has been his consistency. He's collected a hit in 22 of his last 26 games, including an active streak of six games. He's also been more disciplined at the plate, tallying 51 walks, just seven behind his career high. Bogaerts also is on pace to set career highs in home runs, batting average, runs, hits, on-base percentage and more.

The Red Sox have disappointed for much of the season and find themselves in a difficult race to secure one of the two AL wild-card playoff spots. One encouraging result of this season, at least so far, has been the play of Bogaerts. Hopefully for the Sox, it's a sign of things to come for the star shortstop with his contract extension kicking in next year.

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