The Cleveland Guardians designated Mike Zunino for assignment.
The short-term experiment for Mike Zunino is done and over. The Cleveland Guardians announced on Friday, June 16, 2023, that they were designating Zunino for assignment. For those unaware of what that means, it means that Zunino is no longer on the 40-man roster. Only players on the 40-man roster can be called up to the Majors, and if you want to add a player to the 40-man roster, someone has to come off it.
Zunino now will sit and wait for a few days before finding out his fate. He may be dealt in a trade for someone that wants him, outright released, or optioned to the minor leagues. In some cases, a player who gets designated for assignment can opt for free agency if he’s demoted to the minors, but I’m not sure Zunino has that option. He might, due to his status as a veteran, but I’m unsure.
If Zunino does get traded for or signed during the time period where he’s DFA, he’ll be put on a team’s 40-man roster immediately, and can’t be removed from it for the remainder of the season.
He’ll likely become a free agent, and if that does happen, his signing will work more as a conventional free agent, and not one with all the bells and whistles of being DFA. Now, you may be wondering why a team would risk signing or trading for him if he’s just likely to hit the open market and that’s fair. If there’s a demand for him between two or more clubs, it makes more sense to not risk getting into a bidding war for him.
And while Zunino was a big signing for the offseason, the DFA isn’t a bad thing for the club. He was not hitting well, and while he’s never been a contact hitter, he usually supplemented that with his power. His power is not there this season, making his strikeout rate and lack of hits a more pressing issue.
What’s next for the Cleveland Guardians at catcher?
It may seem like the obvious move, but it looks like Bo Naylor is going to be C1 on the depth chart. According to ESPN’s depth chart of the Guardians, Naylor is sitting first ahead of Cam Gallagher and David Fry.
He made his return to the lineup in the last game against the Diamondbacks, where he went 0-4 with a walk, a run, and two strikeouts. It wasn’t a great game for him, but he’s young and has to have time to develop.
Just look at his older brother Josh, the Guardians’ first basemen. He was called up by the Padres when he was 21 and really wasn’t that impressive until last year when he was 25. Now, about to turn 26, he’s leading the AL first basemen in RBIs and is a top 10 RBI guy across the whole league.
Bo is only 23 and will need time to develop. He’ll get it too. Whether he develops into what fans ad experts claim he can and won’t be known anytime soon.
- Published on 06/19/2023 at 21:50 PM
- Last updated at 06/20/2023 at 17:58 PM