ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent catcher Mike Zunino to a $2 million, one-year contract Wednesday that includes a club option for 2022.
The option is worth $4 million, could reach $7 million with incentives and includes a $1 million buyout.
Zunino appeared in 28 games, including 25 starts, for Tampa Bay in 2020. The 29-year-old is considered a solid defender and has significant power but has struggled to make contact. He hit .147 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 2020.
During the Rays postseason run to the American League pennant, Zunino hit .170 but had four home runs and drove in eight. He became the first player in major league history to hit under .150 in the regular season and then hit multiple homers in the postseason, according to Stats LLC.
Tampa Bay declined Zunino’s $4.5 million option for 2021 following the Rays’ World Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.
The Rays also agreed to minor league contracts with right-handers David Hess and Andrew Kittredge and catcher Joe Odom. All three received invites to major league spring training.
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