Mariner grad Mike Zunino traded from Seattle Mariners to the Tampa Bay Rays

Mariner grad Mike Zunino traded from Seattle Mariners to the Tampa Bay Rays
Mariners get Mallex Smith in 5-player trade with Rays
“THIS. GAME. IS. OVERRRR!” was heard through the Seattle Mariners airwaves as Mike Zunino shattered Edgar’s sign over the left field fence on a 2-out fastball. The fans that remained at Safeco Field saw a magical moment.

In hindsight, it was the last walk-off home run Mike Zunino would hit in a Mariners uniform. Jerry Dipoto shipped Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to the Rays in return for OF Mallex Smith Wednesday afternoon. And while the Mariners will begin their search for a new catcher, fans will miss Zunino’s skills behind the plate.

Despite his expertise as a catcher, he will be widely remembered for his offensive struggles, most recently in 2018. A hot month of September lifted Zunino to a slash line of .201/.259/.410, just above the dreaded Mendoza line. Unfortunately, these numbers are not out of the ordinary. A massive bounce-back year just isn’t likely, as his career numbers are .207/.276/.406.

Offensive catchers are hard to come by. I get it. It is exactly why I am not here to slam his batting. In fact, his power is extremely valuable in addition to his defense, making him a strong replacement for Wilson Ramos in Tampa Bay.

I am here to praise Mike Zunino and his efforts in Seattle. The man is a walking backstop. His ability to work with pitchers and call games will be missed. A class act player like Zunino will be hard to replace, regardless of whom the Mariners sign to replace him this winter.

Ms, Rays near Zunino-Mallex deal, sources say

We thank you for the 575 games you suited up for in a Mariners uniform. We thank you for more than the 95 home runs you hit, but for the 40 defensive runs, you saved behind the plate. And most importantly, we wish you luck in Tampa Bay, where you will represent a team that is just 113 miles from your hometown of Cape Coral.

Zunino, who regressed to a .201/.259/.410 slash line with 20 homers over 113 games last year, on Wednesday won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award at catcher. He struggled through an injury-plagued season in which he was placed on the disabled list separately for a strained left oblique and a left ankle bone bruise. Zunino is eligible for salary arbitration for the second time this year, and he will become a free agent after the 2020 season.

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Seattle Mariners 1 Man Play: Negative Nick Positive Pete

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Zunino to Rays, Mallex to Ms in 5-player deal

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The Mariners on Thursday announced that they have acquired the veteran outfielder and minor-league outfielder Jake Fraley from the Rays.

Heredia, who logged 646 2/3 innings in center field last year and was the clubs fourth outfielder, hit .236/.318/.342. He figures to fit into a similar role with the Rays, at least with their current roster construction, with Tommy Pham in left, Kevin Kiermaier in center and Austin Meadows being groomed for right. Heredia has logged just over two years of service time, meaning he wont become arbitration eligible until after next season and will remain under club control through the 2022 season.


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