The Tampa Bay Rays, who are in desperate need of catching help, have agreed to terms with Mike Zunino on a one year deal for 3 million dollars. and a club option for 2022. Zunino is coming off one of the worst seasons of his eight year career in 2020, posting a .147/.238/.360 slash with a .598 OPS, and struggling mightily in the Rays push to the World Series, going just 9 for 53 in his at bats throughout the postseason, adding up to a .170 Batting Average. Moving forward, the Rays really needed a catcher, and while I predicted them moving on from Zunino, and him going to the White Sox on a 2 year deal worth around roughly 4.25 million a year, it looks like Zunino was happy with his two seasons in Tampa Bay, and the Rays weren’t too displeased either.
The Rays are known as one of the more analytical teams in the Majors, it makes sense that even though Zunino’s offensive output is about as appealing as an egg salad sandwich that’s been sitting in a brothel, his glove might be the main reason the Rays are interested. It wasn’t too long ago, the Rays were on top of the ideas of catchers value based off of framing, and keeping framing Jesus, Jose Molina around on their team despite his offensive shortcomings. So maybe they are thinking along the same lines with Zunino, who brings some pop with his inconsistent bat, something Jose Molina lacked.