Zunino and the Rays agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract Monday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
The deal reportedly comes with an option year. After losing Travis d'Arnaud to the Braves in free agency, the Rays are betting on a bounceback season from Zunino. It will have to be quite a significant one, as he hit just .165/.232/.312 in 90 games last season.
Zunino went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in a 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday.
Any owners in leagues deep enough to make Zunino a regular starting option won't be surprised that his second hit of the last week was a homer. Since the beginning of August, Zunino has gone deep with four of his 10 hits. He's also batting just .200 during that stretch. Overall, Zunino is hitting .172 with nine home runs, 32 RBI and 29 runs in 250 at-bats this season.
Zunino went 1-for-3 with a two-run single, a walk and a run in a win over the Orioles on Friday.
Zunino enjoyed some rare success out of the bottom of the order, extending the Rays' lead to 3-0 with his timely second-inning single. The slugging backstop is actually experiencing a relatively productive August when going by the lowly standard he's set this season, as he's knocked in nine runs partly on the strength of three home runs and is hitting over. 200 (.212) in a month for the first time since April.
Zunino went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in Saturday's 5-4 win over the Mariners.
Zunino made a huge impact with the go-ahead blast in the fifth inning against his former team. The catcher is up to eight home runs with 26 RBI and 25 runs scored in 67 games this season. He's still expected to ride the pine behind Travis d'Arnaud despite producing three homers and six RBI in six August games.
Zunino went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and a walk Wednesday against the Blue Jays.
Zunino was one of the few sources of offense for the Rays, taking Ken Giles deep in the ninth inning. It was his seventh home run of the season, though his second in his last four starts. Despite the recent signs of life, Zununo is hitting just .175/.242/.330 across 231 plate appearances for the season.
Zunino went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, two runs scored and two walks during Thursday's 9-4 win over the Red Sox.
Zunino entered Thursday with just one hit in his previous 10 games, but it would have been hard to tell from his final line. He worked a pair of walks and added a base knock before capping off his day with a solo home run in the eighth inning. Zunino still owns a lackluster .560 OPS on the season and will continue to lose playing time to Travis d'Arnaud if he doesn't generate more efforts like this.
Zunino is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Blue Jays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Zunino will sit for the second time in three days as the red-hot Travis d'Arnaud receives the nod behind the plate. D'Arnaud's ability to play first base presents a path for both players to enter the lineup simultaneously, but it's clear that Zunino's hold on the No. 1 catching job isn't nearly as solid as it was entering the season. Zunino continues to draw high marks as a receiver, but he's enduring a tough year at the plate, batting just .168 with only five home runs across 212 plate appearances.
Zunino is out of the lineup for Friday's game at Toronto.
Zunino started the last three contests but will take a seat for Friday's series opener. Travis d'Arnaud will take over behind the plate and bat cleanup in his stead.
Zunino is not in Sunday's lineup against the White Sox.
He has sat every other day over the last 16 games, and is hitting .120 with 10 strikeouts in 25 at-bats over that stretch. Travis d'Arnaud will start behind the dish and hit eighth.
Zunino is not starting Friday against the White Sox.
Zunino has hit just .108/.195/.270 over his last 12 games. Travis d'Arnaud starts behind the plate in his absence.
Zunino is out of the lineup for the first game of Thursday's doubleheader with the Yankees, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Travis d'Arnaud will work behind the dish in the front end of the twin bill, but expect Zunino to catch for Charlie Morton in the nightcap. Zunino has been alternating turns at catcher with d'Arnaud for most of July and may see his playing-time outlook suffer further with the red-hot d'Arnaud batting 11-for-25 with four home runs and two doubles over his last six starts.
Zunino is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Yankees, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Zunino has started three of six games behind the dish since the All-Star break, going 1-for-9 with a solo home run during those appearances. Travis d'Arnaud is starting at catcher and hitting seventh Wednesday.
Zunino is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Yankees.
He'll cede catching duties to Travis d'Arnaud as the Rays and Yankees open up a four-game set in New York. Zunino drew two starts over the weekend during the Rays' series in Baltimore, going 1-for-6 with a solo home run.
Zunino is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Orioles, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
He will sit in the nightcap after starting in Game 1 and going 1-for-3 with a solo home run, the 100th homer of his career. Travis d'Arnaud will start behind the dish and bat third.
Zunino is out of the lineup for Friday's game against the Orioles, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Zunino is 3-for-25 with 10 strikeouts over his last eight games, so he'll start out the second half of the season on the bench. Travis d'Arnaud takes over behind the plate for the Rays, and the pair have now alternated catching duties in the last six contests.
Zunino went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk in an extra-innings loss to the Yankees on Friday.
Zunino slugged his fourth homer of the campaign off Masahiro Tanaka in the fifth inning, which actually marked his first time leaving the yard since May 3. A stint on the injured list due to a quadriceps issue did have a role to play in that drought, but it's still been a highly underwhelming first Rays season for Zunino. The veteran backstop is slashing an abysmal .186/.240/.329 across 179 plate appearances, and even though he's posting his lowest strikeout rate (30.2 percent) since his rookie 2013 campaign, it's nevertheless an unsightly figure that's playing a large part in his struggles.
Zunino is out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Yankees.
Zunino started the past three games behind the dish and will just be receiving some routine maintenance while Travis d'Arnaud handles the catching duties in the series opener. The Rays' top backstop went 2-for-11 in the three-game set versus Baltimore earlier this week, which actually amounts to progress on the offensive end. Since returning from the 10-day injured list May 31, Zunino is batting .135 while striking out in 36.3 percent of his plate appearances.
Zunino is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Rangers.
Zunino will hit the bench for the second straight game in favor of Travis d'Arnaud while he continues to work through his struggles at the plate. Unless he's deployed as a pinch hitter Sunday, Zunino will finish June with an 8-for-59 mark at the plate (.136 average) and 37.5 percent strikeout rate.
Zunino is not in Saturday's lineup against the Rangers.
Zunino has continued to scuffle at the plate (3-for-16 with six strikeouts over his last five games), but his defense still earns him semi-regular playing time. Travis d'Arnaud will start behind the dish, hitting ninth.
Zunino is not in Tuesday's lineup agains the Twins, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
While he is in the midst of a four-game hitting streak, Zunino is still only hitting .160 with 19 strikeouts in 15 games this month. Travis d'Arnaud is starting at catcher and hitting seventh.
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