The Cleveland Guardians have been busy so far this offseason, adding first baseman Josh Bell on a two-year deal.
In addition to Bell, the Guardians found their new catcher as well, signing veteran backstop Mike Zunino to a one-year, $6 million deal.
With Austin Hedges a free agent, Cleveland was in need of a new backstop.
Fortunately, they found their man.
The 31-year-old had a tough season at the plate with the Tampa Bay Rays, hitting just .148 with seven home runs and 16 RBI.
He was also limited to just 36 games due to injuries.
However, he isn’t far removed from a season in which he hit 33 homers.
On Twitter, the Guardians announced the news of the Zunino signing and welcomed their new backstop to Cleveland.
We have signed C Mike Zunino to a 1-year contract.
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) December 15, 2022
Guards Welcome Zunino
If all goes according to plan and Zunino can regain his 2021 form, then the Guardians will have an extra power bat to go along with Bell and Jose Ramirez, which would give them a scary middle of the order.
For his career, Zunino has a .200 batting average and has hit a grand total of 146 homers.
The catcher accumulated seven defensive runs saved during the regular season, posted a .997 fielding percentage, and caught four runners attempting to steal.
Zunino was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and made his debut with the team in 2013.
The veteran played seven years in Seattle before spending the next four seasons in Tampa Bay.
The catcher was a key factor in the Rays run to the World Series in 2020.