MLB trade rumors: Mariners ‘working to finish’ deal sending C Mike Zunino to Rays for OF Mallex Smith

The Mariners may have decided to move on from 2012 first-round pick Mike Zunino.

According to the Seattle Times, Seattle is working to finish a deal that would send the catcher, along with outfielder Guillermo Heredia, to the Rays for center fielder Mallex Smith.

Sources: The Mariners are working to finish a trade that would send catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to the Rays in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith. Deal could be finalized in the next day.

The trade is reportedly not done yet.

Zunino was drafted with the third-overall pick in 2012 out of Florida. He had a breakout year in 2017, smashing 25 home runs while batting a career-best .251.

He regressed in 2018 as his average fell to .201, but he still hit 20 home runs and talled 44 RBIs.

Smith is coming off of a career year with the Rays in which he batted .296 with two home runs, 40 RBIs and 65 runs scored.

The Mariners declined veteran outfielder Denard Span’s $12 million option for this season, so Smith would presumably join an outfield featuring Mitch Haniger and Dee Gordon.

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Heredia would have gotten some time in that outfield had he not been included in the potential deal. The 27-year-old batted .236 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 292 at-bats in 2018.

This comes one day after Yahoo Sports reported the Mariners were contemplating a “full-blown rebuild” of their roster.

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