Andy Sonnanstine Rumors
Cubs right-hander Andy Sonnanstine is now a free agent after declining an outright assignment to Triple-A, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Chicago outrighted the veteran to their Iowa affiliate on Thursday.
Sonnanstine, who turned 29 last Saturday, signed a non-guaranteed split contract with the club in December. The longtime Rays hurler posted a 5.55 ERA with 12 walks and 12 strikeouts in 35.3 innings of work for Tampa Bay last year.
The 6'3" pitcher made 72 starts for the Rays from 2007-2009 but worked mostly out of the bullpen in '10 and '11.
Keeping track of the latest outright assignments...
- The Cubs announced that they outrighted right-hander Andy Sonnanstine to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs now have 39 players on their 40-man roster. Sonnanstine signed with the Cubs in December after posting a 5.55 ERA with as many walks as strikeouts (12) in 35 2/3 innings for the Rays in 2011.
- The Mariners announced that they outrighted left-hander Cesar Jimenez to Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners, who had placed the reliever on waivers earlier this week, now have three open spots on their 40-man roster. Jimenez, 27, pitched briefly with the Mariners last year and spent most of the season in the bullpen at Tacoma. He has missed considerable time with injuries in recent years.
The Cubs have agreed to sign Andy Sonnanstine to a non-guaranteed split contract for the 2012 season, the team announced. The Rays non-tendered the Beverly Hills Sports Council client earlier this month rather than give him a raise his second time through arbitration.
Sonnanstine, 29 in March, has worked mostly in relief over the last two seasons, pitching to a 4.78 ERA in 116 2/3 innings. He's made 80 starts and 52 relief appearances during his five seasons with Tampa, though his career strikeout (5.7 K/9) and walk (2.3 BB/9) rates are identical in the two roles. Sonnanstine is a fly ball pitcher and is very homer prone (career 1.3 HR/9), though his ERA is a full run lower when coming out of the bullpen (5.43 vs. 4.40).
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein recently said the team's goal is to "build more depth on the starting pitching front, both in the big leagues and minor leagues," and Sonnanstine helps them accomplish that. He becomes the second pitcher the Cubbies have acquired in the last week, joining Travis Wood (acquired in the Sean Marshall trade). Chicago can retain Sonnanstine as an arbitration-eligible player in 2013.
Today's American League non-tenders are below, but you can keep track of all teams in our non-tender tracker.
- The Mariners announced that they non-tendered Dan Cortes and Chris Gimenez.
- The Orioles announced that they non-tendered Willie Eyre, the right-handed reliever who was designated for assignment last week. They non-tendered Jo-Jo Reyes, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). The Orioles also non-tendered Luke Scott, tweets Connolly. Scott, who battled a shoulder injury in 2011 and underwent surgery this summer, projected to earn $6MM through arbitration.
- The Rays non-tendered Andy Sonnanstine, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter link).
- The Rangers non-tendered right-hander Fabio Castillo, according to Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox announced that they non-tendered Rich Hill.
- The Royals announced that they will non-tender left-hander Aaron Laffey.
- The Twins announced that they've non-tendered left-hander Jose Mijares (Twitter link).
- The Tigers non-tendered second baseman Will Rhymes, announced the team. Rhymes is not yet close to being arbitration eligible, as he has less than one year of big league service time. Rhymes, 28, hit .306/.377/.390 at Triple-A this year.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
In today's blog post at ESPN, Buster Olney wrote about the major hurdles the Astros will face in trying to trade Roy Oswalt. The biggest obstacles are Oswalt's salary (owed $29MM through 2011), his history of back trouble, his full-no trade clause, and the fact that teams are coveting young players more than ever and might not be willing to give up a package good enough to convince owner Drayton McLane to move one of his star players.
As one GM put it, "a no-trade clause doesn't become a must-trade clause." Another believes they won't "just give the guy away." Here's the rest of Olney's rumors...
- The Mariners continue to search for a hitter.
- Toronto's asking for one or two prospects for relievers Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, but rival executives believe that asking price to be very high.
- Some executives believe that the Rays will make Andy Sonnanstine available at some point this summer. Olney suggests the Mets as a potential fit, noting that there were brief talks between the two teams about a trade this offseason.
On this date in 2002, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network launched. Although the regional network barely broke even that year, YES has gone on to generate millions in revenue, much of which goes right into the Yankees' pockets. As recently as 2008, there was talk that the network was worth more than the team itself.
After you wrap your head around that, here are some links to check out from around the baseball blogosphere...
- The Baseball Opinion says that the Adeiny Hechevarria signing caps off an impressive offseason for new GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- The Friarhood examines the trade market for Padres' closer Heath Bell.
- Phillies Nation has some fun with internal discussions after the Albert Pujols-Ryan Howard rumors.
- DRays Bay wonders if Andy Sonnanstine will start the season in Tampa's rotation so they can send Wade Davis to the minors and push his service time clock back.
- Around The Majors wonders if the Nationals should really be trying to sign Adam Dunn to a contract extension.
- The Dodgerhater says that Sergio Romo and Dan Runzler are the key to San Francisco's bullpen this year.
- Bronx Bombers Beat wonders if Robinson Cano can take that next step towards being a middle of the order hitter for a team with some aging core hitters.
- SPANdemonium looks at some players drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft who have already had an impact in the big leagues.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Links for Wednesday...
- The Mets have no interest in trading for Cristian Guzman, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Guzman could have played shortstop in New York while the Mets wait for Jose Reyes to get healthy.
- Dave Allen at FanGraphs thinks the Rays should use Andy Sonnanstine as a long reliever to start the season with an eye towards trading him if something comes up. Sonnanstine is going to get squeezed out of Tampa's rotation in a numbers crunch, but he has minor league options remaining.
- The Cardinals are in trade talks with the Reds in hopes of keeping Rule 5 lefty Ben Jukich, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Indians signed righty Justin Germano to a minor league deal, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Germano, 27, posted a 4.38 ERA, 4.97 K/9, and 1.18 BB/9 in 76 innings for the Softbank Hawks last year.
- After working out for the Diamondbacks, Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo will audition for at least four more teams according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- Dan O'Dowd told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times he hopes Troy Tulowitzki retires a Rockie.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why he does not expect the Yankees to sign Joe Mauer even if the superstar catcher reaches free agency.
- Kiko Calero received calls from a dozen teams this winter, reports Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner finds Seattle to be lacking in middle infield depth.
No teams have formally inquired about trading for Andy Sonnanstine, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, the right-hander could become the topic of a few trade rumors before the season begins, given Tampa Bay's surplus of starting pitching.
Morosi tweets a few teams that could use another starting pitcher: the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Mets, Twins, Dodgers and Nationals. That list could easily double by Opening Day, with spring performances and injuries potentially raising depth concerns for a few more clubs.
The Rays shouldn't feel any pressure to deal Sonnanstine though. Even if there's no room for him in their rotation, their starting pitching depth is a luxury. As the FOX report suggests, the Rays could use Sonnanstine out of the bullpen as a long reliever, or even send him to Triple-A to start the year, since he has options remaining.
If you were running the Rays, what's your move here? Would you start shopping Sonnanstine, hoping to get some value in return? Or would you keep the right-hander around, providing insurance in case youngsters like Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson struggle?
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has his usual Sunday column up, kicking it off by entertaining the unlikely possibility of Joe Mauer playing in Boston. If the Twins and Mauer can't work out a long-term deal, Cafardo thinks the Red Sox would be one of a handful of teams that could afford the superstar backstop. Here are a few other highlights from Cafardo's piece:
- One possible roadblock in the Josh Beckett negotiations is the Red Sox' desire to incorporate injury protection into the contract. If Beckett has a good year in 2010, he will likely have suitors that won't include health clauses in their offers, which could appeal to the right-hander.
- The Cubs have some interest in Kerry Wood. Cafardo notes that the Indians closer would also be a good fit for the Twins, but that the Tribe would have to pick up a significant chunk of the $10.5MM Wood will earn this season.
- The Rays may entertain trade offers for Andy Sonnanstine, who is having a solid spring.
- Billy Wagner says that returning to Boston was "tempting" but that with Jonathan Papelbon firmly entrenched as the ninth-inning guy, the lefty went where he'd have a better chance to close.