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Tampa Bay Rays to bring back Mike Zunino on one-year deal

Sep 6, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A detail view of a Tampa Bay Rays hat and glove at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays agreed on a one-year deal to bring back veteran catcher Mike Zunino, the Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday.

Zunino, 29, had a one-year, $4.5 million contract option declined by the Rays shortly after the completion of the World Series.

The new deal is worth $3 million guaranteed, MLB Network reported, with a $2 million salary for 2021 and a $1 million buyout on a 2022 club option. The club option could be worth $4 million-$7 million based on incentives.

Valued more for his defense, Zunino batted .147 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 28 regular-season games in 2020 but helped the Tampa Bay pitching staff to a 3.56 ERA, second best in the American League. He then batted .170 in the postseason, starting all six games in the World Series.

The Rays fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a neutral-site World Series at Arlington, Texas.

Zunino is a career .200 hitter with 108 home runs and 283 RBIs in eight seasons with the Mariners (2013-18) and Rays (2019-20).

(Field Level Media)