Rays Lose TWO Players to Season-Ending Surgery

When it rains, it pours. The Tampa Bay Rays have lost not one, but two key members of the team for the rest of the season, as both outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Mike Zunino have opted to undergo season-ending surgery. And according to Rays' beat writer Marc Topkin, this could be the end of the line for both in Tampa. 

Topkin notes that both Kiermaier and Zunino are in the last guaranteed years of their contracts, and there's no guarantee either of them will be back.

Zunino, who's been out since June 10th, will undergo surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. He finishes his season with a miserable .148 average and five home runs in 36 games played.  He was an All-Star last year for the Rays, blasting 33 home runs with an .860 OPS.

Kiermaier's defense in center field is what will be missed most by his absence. He's been out for two weeks, and now will have hip labrum surgery. The 10-year veteran has spent his entire career in Tampa, and has three Gold Gloves.

The Rays have been going with a combination of Brett Phillips and Roman Quinn to replace Kiermaier in CF, while Francisco Meija has taken on the bulk of the catching. But with two premier catchers on the trade block—Willson Contreras and Sean Murphy—they could look to make a move in that direction.

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