The Mariners announced this evening that they have agreed to terms with No. 3 overall pick Mike Zunino. He’ll be officially introduced during a news conference tomorrow.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Zunino will get a $4 million bonus, which is $1.2 million below the slot recommendation for the pick. No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa received a $4.8 million from the Astros while No. 2 overall pick Byron Buxton got $6 million from the Twins. Both of those deals were also under the slot recommendation.
Zunino, a catcher out of the University of Florida, was recently named Baseball America’s college player of the year. The 21-year-old has plus-power from the right side of the plate and is highly-regarded for his leadership and defensive ability.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.
Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.
Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.