Above: Guardians Address Issue ahead of the 2023 season, signing catcher Mike Zunino to a one-year deal. In this photo, Zunino fields a ball against the New York Yankees in May. The Guardians are providing insurance to bridge the gap for Bo Naylor. Photo Credit – Scott Audette, AP Sports.
Guardians addressing catching issue, big time. The Cleveland Guardians are striking a one-year, $6 million deal with Mike Zunino.
The Cleveland Guardians are striking a one-year, $6 million deal with catcher Mike Zunino. The team entered the offseason with an unclear situation behind the plate, and they have now addressed that need in free agency.
Sure, the big question mark may be Zunino’s health, as he only played in 36 games last season. But he can provide some pop as a righty bat and some solid defensive play behind the plate.
Thoughts on Guardians Addressing Issue
Now, this signing could be one to file in the under-the-radar category. And, as I note here in a previous article, this move will answer the question temporarily at the catcher position.
And not only does this move to solidify the roster, but Zunino has praise within the organization. WOIO Cleveland 19 notes here how Guardians President Chris Antonetti is giving major approval for this acquisition.
While this deal is only for one year, it serves as a bridge to develop an intriguing prospect in Bo Naylor. It also can provide some stability for a position that saw its fair share of struggles in 2022.
With Luke Maile already sent to Cincinnati and Austin Hedges remaining on the market, Zunino is some insurance.
But this move is an interesting development. With the office already making a move to address first baseman, catcher is next on the to-do list.
Final Thoughts on Deal/What Next for Cleveland?
So, in my view, this deal is something that is shoring up a big question mark. While it might not be Sean Murphy like the whole fan base is clamoring for, it’s still a step in the right direction. Murphy was recently traded to the Atlanta Braves, so the Cleveland front office quickly pivoted.
Which position the Guardians will address next remains to be seen, but it should be interesting how the rest of the 2022 offseason shakes out.
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