But that did not stop the Guardians from continuing to search for a new catcher.
This morning, Cleveland got their man, signing veteran backstop Mike Zunino to a one-year, $6 million deal.
The 31-year-old spent the 2022 season with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Unfortunately, the catcher was limited to just 36 games due to injuries.
Zunino hit just .148 with five home runs and 16 RBI during the regular season, but the veteran isn’t too far removed from a strong 2021 campaign.
Despite hitting for just a .216 average, Zunino popped 33 home runs and drove in 62 runs.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the news of the signing.
Free-agent catcher Mike Zunino is signing with the Guardians, source tells @TheAthletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2022
Guardians Find Their Catcher
But Zunino gives the team a veteran presence to lean on, as well as a powerful middle-of-the-order bat if he can remain healthy.
The signing of Zunino gives Naylor a chance to develop before possibly taking the reins in 2024.
Cleveland had been one of five teams that was linked to Murphy.
The Guardians acted quickly after Murphy was traded to the Braves and found their new catcher.