CLEVELAND – The Guardians officially signed catcher Mike Zunino to a 2023 Major League contract. Zunino, 31, was an American League All-Star in 2021, hitting a career-high 33 home runs, tied for third all-time among AL catchers and the most ever by a Tampa Bay backstop (previous record was 14). For the season, he batted .216 (72-for-333) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 33 home runs and 62 RBI in 109 games (.301/.559/.860). He was third among MLB catchers in bWAR (3.8) behind Salvador Perez (5.3) and Willson Contreras (4.1), leading all MLB players in slugging pct. (.868) and OPS (1.287) vs. left-handed pitching and was an AL Silver Slugger finalist.
This past season, he was limited to 36 games due to a left shoulder injury and did not play after June 9, undergoing season-ending surgery on the shoulder on July 28. Over his 10-year Major League career he owns a batting average of .200 (535-for-2674) with 114 2B, 5 3B, 146 HR and 361 RBI in 850 games with Seattle and Tampa Bay. The Cape Coral, FL native was originally drafted third overall by Seattle in the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida, debuting with the Mariners the following season. Since debuting in 2013, he ranks third overall among MLB catchers in home runs (145), sixth in catcher ERA (3.75) and tied for 10th in Defensive Runs Saved (51). He was acquired by Tampa Bay in November 2018, spending the last four seasons with the Rays. He was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at catcher in 2018, leading the AL with 11 DRS.