Sources: Guardians, catcher Mike Zunino agree to 1-year deal

The Cleveland Guardians and free agent catcher Mike Zunino have reached agreement on a 1-year, $6 million deal, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Zunino, 31, played in only 36 games last season for the Tampa Bay Rays due to thoracic outlet syndrome in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. The ailment affected him at the plate, where he produced just a .499 OPS before going down.

Zunino was a huge part of the Rays in 2021, when he went to his first All-Star Game, but has never been a big offensive player. He has a career .200 batting average with a .681 OPS. A lot of his value comes behind the plate, where he rates very well in pitch framing and other defensive skills.

The Guardians have placed a premium on those non-offensive categories as they won the AL Central last season while their catchers ranked 29th in OPS.

The team had an opening at catcher after free agent Luke Maile signed with the Cincinnati Reds last month.

This will be Zunino's third MLB team after breaking in with the Seattle Mariners in 2013.