Mike Zunino trade rumors are already popping up. This follows the revelation of Seattle Mariners rumors, where the team is reportedly looking to deal veterans this offseason. A Zunino trade could be part of a bigger plan, with the ultimate goal being for the Mariners to tear down the current roster.

An article from the News Tribune confirms that the Mariners are considering a Zunino trade. The team has reportedly already spoken with the Tampa Bay Rays about completing a deal, suggesting that Jerry Dipoto is working the phones. While the Rays are certainly in need of a catcher, the Mariners might have an even more glaring need, should they decide to move forward with a Zunino trade.

Mike Zunino stats with Mariners

Zunino has been the primary catcher for the Mariners over nearly six seasons. He has appeared in 587 games for the team, posting a .207 career batting average and a .276 on-base percentage in that time. Zunino also has 95 home runs to his credit. While he has struggled, at times, on offense, Zunino is also one of the best defensive catchers in the league. Not only is he strong on defense, but he might be the best pitch-framer in all of baseball.

When Zunino was a rookie with the Mariners, fans had a lot of hope that he would end up being an All-Star catcher who could regularly hit 20 to 25 home runs every season. That hasn't really turned out to be the case, even though there were spans of time where it really seemed like he had figured things out at the plate.

It's possible, that Zunino could end up being another player to find a lot of success once he leaves Seattle.

What happens after a Zunino trade?

There is only one other catcher on the 40-man roster for the Seattle Mariners. This means that a Mike Zunino trade would require the team to either look for someone else in free agency or for Jerry Dipoto to pull off a corresponding trade.

Fans of David Freitas might also see this as a chance for him to enter the spotlight and shine for the Mariners. Either way, a Zunino trade raises more questions than answers it can provide to fans.

Goodbye Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz is officially a free agent. The news that the team is looking to cut payroll and get younger nearly guarantees that he won't be returning to the team.

That's going to be a huge loss to the lineup, especially since he has been one of the best power hitters in all of baseball over the past four seasons. Cruz can't receive a qualifying offer, according to the terms of his contract, so the Mariners may lose him for nothing in return.

Mariners trades are coming

It's only a matter of time under Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto pulls the trigger on his first offseason deal. It would make sense for it to be with the Tampa Bay Rays, as that's a franchise he has dealt with a lot since taking the helm with the Mariners. Even if a Mike Zunino trade doesn't end up involving the Rays, this is the type of move that Mariners fans should prepare for, as there could be a lot of player movement for the franchise before the 2019 MLB season gets started.