The Minnesota Twins have made a pair of trades within the division with the Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers. Catcher Sandy Leon comes from the Guardians as the Twins ship out right-handed pitcher Ian Hamilton. Leon will be reporting to Triple-A St. Paul. Hamilton will report to Triple-A Indianapolis on the Guardians’ side. In a trade with the Tigers, the Twins sent right-handed pitcher Sawyer Gipson-Long in exchange for reliever Michael Fulmer.
Coming to Target Field
Leon gives the Twins some much-needed catching depth as Ryan Jeffers recovers from a right thumb contusion. An 11-year veteran with the Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, and Cleveland. He has only appeared in eight games for the Guardians this season. Bouncing between the majors and minors virtually his entire career, the Venezuelan has played in over 500 games at the big league level. The Twins are getting a catcher that is a consistent defensive player but lacks offensively. He played in the Caribbean Series with Venezuela in 2015-16 and again with Colombia in 2021-22.
Fulmer is a former first-round pick with the New York Mets in the 2011 draft and gives the Twins a boost coming out of the bullpen. In six seasons with the Tigers, Fulmer has a 3.90 ERA and a career WAR of 12.0. The 2016 American League Rookie of the Year has appeared in 41 games this season with 39 strikeouts and a 1.246 WHIP. Fulmer is expected to be a free agent at the season’s end. Look for the Twins to make an effort to keep him beyond 2022.
Heading Out of the Twin Cities
Hamilton has spent the majority of his time in the minors with a few spot appearances in the majors with the Twins and White Sox. Drafted by the White Sox in 2016, he has 15 appearances with an ERA of 4.91 and nine strikeouts. With Triple-A Saint Paul this season, the New Hampshire native has a 1.88 ERA along with an 11.3 SO/9 ratio and 36 strikeouts over 28 2/3 innings pitched.
Gipson-Long was ranked in the mid-30s in the Twins prospect list by several scouting publications. At High A ball with Cedar Rapids, he appeared in 10 games with a 5-2 record and a 1.99 ERA. In early June, the former Mercer Bear made the jump to Double-A Wichita where he has 8 appearances and an ERA of 7.17 giving up 30 runs in 37 2/3 innings. The Georgia native will join the Tigers Double-A squad in Erie.