Last night, the Rays decided not to tender a contract to Andy Sonnanstine. This came just hours after the Rays added a middle reliever in a minor trade with the Marlins.

In explaining the decision to non-tender Sonny, Andrew Friedman made it clear that there is no longer room on the roster for a player that is rarely used (via Marc Topkin of TampaBay.com).

Friedman said there was no longer “an optimal fit” for Sonnanstine.

And just like that, the Sonnanstine era with the Tampa Bay Rays appears to have come to an end. We will always have a fond spot in our hearts for the guy we affectionately called “The Duke” (El Duque Hernandez’ twin brother from a caucasian mother).

The remainder of the Rays’ arbitration-eligible players were tendered contracts including JP Howell.

One reason it was easier to move Sonnanstine was the addition of Burke Badenhop from the Marlins for double-A catcher Jake Jefferies.  Badenhop split the 2011 season between triple-A and the big leagues. in 63.2 innings with the Marlins, Badenhop had a 4.10 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 24 walks. His 2.95 FIP says that he pitched better than his ERA suggests.

Jefferies was the Rays third round pick in 2008. He spent the 2011 season in high-A and double-A hitting .238 with 2 home runs.

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6 Comments

  1. Don says:

    BE interesting to see if Sonnenstine, gets another ML offer?(to do what?)
    Howell is done If he doesn't correct that delivery and follow thru, look for more physical problems (arm or shoulder) wasted money..got to be someone out there better than a retread

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  2. Gus says:

    Was Sonny released before or after Ben Francisco made it back into the AL with Toronto?

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  3. Sarah says:

    A few years ago, Ben Francisco's success against Sonnanstine was noteworthy because otherwise Sonny was reasonably effective.

    By now, the way Andy has pitched, every AL player is Ben Francisco.

    I'm glad they non-tendered him, but also sorry....seeing his fall, and more dramatically Kazmir's fall, makes you realize how fleeting pitching success can be.

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    • Gus says:

      Sonny could still be Jamie Moyer, a guy left for dead in his late 20's. But he'll need to pitch at a level other than the AL East to find his spinner again.

      He is a good cat and I wish him luck in baseball or ping pong or whatever he does.

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  4. zenny says:

    Sad to see Sonny go. He's a good guy, but unfortunately, he no longer seems to be a very good pitcher.

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