Leon, who had appeared in 358 games for Boston since being acquired from the Nationals at the beginning of 2015, was projected to earn $2.8 million in 2020, his third season of arbitration eligibility.
The Indians have acquired Leon in a trade from the Red Sox.
Cleveland sent minor league right-hander Adenys Bautista to Boston on Monday for the 30-year-old Leon, who has split his eight-year major league career between Boston and Washington.
In 65 games, he hit.192 with five home runs and 19 runs batted in with an OPS of.548. Leon has posted a career caught stealing a percentage of 32.2 and is known for his success in pitch-framing. Leon was eligible for salary arbitration this year and made $2.5 million last year.
The Indians also designated right-handed pitcher James Hoyt for assignment in the transaction. In 2019, he made seven relief appearances in the Dominican Summer League and seven in the Arizona League, posting a 7.79 ERA (15 ER/17.1 IP) and a.239 opponent batting average between the two clubs.