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Mike Zunino retires at age 32 after 11 seasons as big league catcher

 WBN  |    Mar 7th, 2024 10:29am EST

Former All-Star catcher Mike Zunino is retiring at age 32 after 11 major league seasons.

Zunino was released by Cleveland last June and announced his retirement in an Instagram post Wednesday.

“While my time on the field has concluded, my passion for baseball remains as strong as ever, and I eagerly anticipate exploring new avenues to contribute to the sport,” he wrote. “I am excited to bring what I have learned in the game to the next generation of MLB players, and to give back to the game that has given so much to me.”

Zunino hit .199 with 149 homers and 372 RBIs for Seattle (2013-18), Tampa Bay (2019-22) and Cleveland. He was an All-Star in 2021, when he batted .216 and set a career high with 33 homers along with 62 RBIs, and homered off the New York Mets’ Taijuan Walker in the American League’s 5-2 win at Denver’s Coors Field.

Zunino reached 20 homers four times.

He was selected by Oakland from Mariner High in Cape Coral, Florida, in the 29th round of the 2009 amateur draft but didn’t sign, went to three straight College World Series with the University of Florida and was selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in 2012, signing for a $4 million bonus.

Zunino made his big league debut at age 22 in June 2013 and homered in his second game, off Oakland’s Tommy Milone.

After his All-Star season in 2021, Zunino was limited to 36 games in 2022. After feeling soreness in his left shoulder, Zunino went on the injured list on June 10 and the team said the following month he needed thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

Zunino signed a $6 million, one-year contract with the Guardians ahead of the 2023 season. He hit .177 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 140 plate appearances, was designated for assignment on June 16 and released five days later.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb