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Gregg Zaun wants to play for the Rays in 2011 at age 40

Gregg Zaun

In this Monday, March 8, 2010, photo, Milwaukee Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun talks in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Phoenix. The Brewers’ newest veteran catcher certainly isn’t like stoic Jason Kendall, who spent two years guiding a pitching staff that reached the postseason in 2008 and then was short on talent in last year’s 80-82 campaign. Even though Zaun is three years older than Kendall and turns 39 next month, he said if he’s not bouncing around the clubhouse, something would definitely be wrong. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Gregg Zaun missed most of this season following shoulder surgery, but the 40-year-old catcher plans to play in 2011 and recently told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio that he’d prefer it be for the Rays.

Zaun played 34 games for the Rays in 2009 after being acquired from the Orioles in midseason trade, but it’s tough to see a fit for him in Tampa at this point with John Jaso entrenched as the primary catcher and Kelly Shoppach under contract as his backup/platoon-mate. And the Rays still have to figure out what to do with Dioner Navarro too.

Milwaukee declined its $2.25 million option on Zaun last week, choosing a $250,000 buyout instead. Zaun has always flown under the radar somewhat as a switch-hitting catcher with strong on-base skills and prior to the shoulder problems he was productive for the Brewers, hitting .265 with a .350 OBP.

Assuming he’s reasonably healthy Zaun would be a solid fit as a veteran backup somewhere, but Tampa Bay may not be the place.