For all of their great starting pitchers, it is easy to forget that it wasn’t long ago that the Rays were employing pitchers that were amazingly mediocre (Jae Seo, anybody?). That includes Andy Sonnanstine who was still a starting pitcher for the Rays as recently as two years ago.
But what ever happened to Sonnanstine? You would think a starting pitcher that won 13 games and posted a 4.38 ERA for a World Series team would be intriguing enough for some team to take a shot.
Following the 2011 season, the Rays did not offer Sonnanstine arbitration making him a free agent. He then signed with the Cubs. But when he failed to make their 2012 roster in spring training, he refused an assignment to the minor leagues and once again became a free agent.
After that, nothing.
Since becoming a free agent in March, 2012, it does not appear that Sonnanstine has pitched anywhere. He has not signed with a Major League club. There is no indication that he has played with any independent league teams, a common move for 30-year-old fringe veterans trying to get back to the big leagues.
The only evidence we have of Sonnanstine even existing is this video he shot at a gun club while wearing a Durham Bulls sweatshirt.
Of course, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Sonnanstine once referred to himself as a “Professional Gentleman of Leisure Sports,” thanks to his love of sports such as bocce ball, table tennis, and skeet. He even once uploaded videos of himself to YouTube showing his table tennis skills.
So here ya go, The Duke is back, albeit in a different setting…