From the Wire … Cubs Agree to Terms on a Non-Guaranteed Split Contract with Andy Sonnanstine

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed split contract with Andy Sonnanstine.

Sonnanstine, the 28-year old right hander, posted a 0-2 record in 15 games, four starts, for the Rays last season with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

The Cubs also announced the signing of Manny Corpas on Monday. Terms of the deal were not released but it is also believed to be a non-guaranteed, split contract for 2012.

Andy Sonnanstine owns a career mark of 28-31 with a 5.26 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 132 games over five big league seasons. Sonnanstine has pitched in 132 games, 80 as a starter and could be used as a swingman if he makes the club out of Spring Training.

Andy Sonnanstine’s Page on Baseball-Reference

With Andy Sonnanstine and Manny Corpas signing non-guaranteed split contracts for 2012, the Cubs 40-man roster officially stands at 39 players … until the Cubs officially announce Reed Johnson has re-signed with the team.

Will update when further information is made available …

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  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I was reading a commenter on another site mentioning Sonnastines numbers as a reliever being much better.

    • Binyow

      dont count on it. We are rebuilding we need fillers.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Insurance signings…

    • Neil

      Patrick, Sonnanstine is 2-0 in 52 career games as a reliever with one save … 4.40 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

      • coolpdxcubsfan

        Hey Neil, exactly what is a split contract??

        • Neil

          A split contract is both a minor league and major league contract.

          If either player makes the majors out of Spring Training they will make a certain amount of money that both sides have agreed to. But if they end up in the minors, they will make more than a typical minor leaguer but not the same as they would at the big league level.

          • Dorasaga

            Something new to learn everyday on CCO

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Thanks Neil for the stats, been reading everyday your the best at what you do IMHO. I keep waiting for something big to happen but I’M just being impatient. Jed Theo and company are being smart and realistic waiting out the market and not being reactionary. We do need an overhaul. I just get tired of watching losing baseball.

        • paulcatanese

          I’m confused, if Theo is waiting out the market, why is he signing all of these guys? If this is being realistic I dont understand it. Why all of the players that are on the down side? Does he(Theo) expect miracle turn arounds? Will these trades show that he is smart in buying low and having them have career years?
          Patrick just a question and not dis agreeing with you, I am impatient as well, and would like to see something concrete happen, not this mess.

          • Anthony

            paul, the FA crop, all good ballplayers as I always say if you made pro, you have something, is very weak, or old in baseball terms that the suspended ceiling, has dropped.

            terms, as “is what it is”, “you are what you are”, “you’re not what you were” is predominant in this class of FA

            The thing that bothers me most is seeking something when you might have it in your own backyard

            Me thinks Theo, his geeks, and all these suits and ties that never had a shot a being a dirtbag player really DO NOT know what they have in the Farm until they see it for themselves, and even then, it is all about computer programs and models.

            Gonna stretch here, dang, don’t want to do it, maybe our CCO writers have an idea, but………….

            I know some things about some of our farm players, as far as off the charts athletic things, mainly because of my dealings in college baseball. Hope these geeks figure it out for themselves!

          • paulcatanese

            Thats kind of what I am saying too, it’s as though the Cubs have 0 talent in the minors as far as they are concerned.
            I dont understand it at this point, and if they have one(a point) I wish we had something of a clue what it is.

          • John_CC

            Hi Anthony, and Happy Holidays.

            So are you saying that you think they are waiting to see the players play this spring to make more serious decisions, because they know their computers can only tell them so much?

            Just wondering, because I really respect your opinions and posts, they obviously come from a place of experience. Because I am not feeling impatient, even though – and because – Theo et al have NOT made the “big splash” signing.  They are making moves to get younger and re-stock with players that fit their model. Sure, it seems like they are going to quantity over quality in some of these moves, but we have to trust that it is all with a big picture, or long view.

            I understand the impatience, but at the same time, I think it’s silly. I trust that this new team is working very deliberately toward a goal.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            What I meant Paul was they didn’t just go out and offer 25.5 million to fielder fo 10 years and throw a bunch of money at aging free agent pitchers. Get older roster patching big money free agents to react to what other teams in the central are doing. No one has signed Fielder yet or guys like Edwin Jackson they are waiting for prices to go down and looking at all possibilities short term and long Hendry only looked at the quick fixes.

  • cubs1967

    is this a long term asset………or just a crap asset while we lose 100 games??

    how about jason jamarillo who is close to signin??
    this is the team we assembled back in the ’70s??

    where ‘s jerry morales these days??

    is tues ladies day coming back??

    how’ bout the $2 bleacher tix??

    BUT theo is a genius………………..

    • Joe_u

      splint contracts for both…..spare parts only no worries.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Not a long term anything.

      Not an asset.

      In short…..

    • Chadaudio

      Sonnanstine is just a AAA signing.  I wouldn’t worry about it.
      Admittedly, I’d rather have Rodrigo Lopez though.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes. If you are talking 2-3 innings, old Rodrigo can do that.

        • Chadaudio

          Exactly.  But that is two more innings then Dave Bush, Ramon Ortiz, or even Casey Coleman. :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Exactly. He has value, and they do not.

          • cubs1967

            oh no….we have casey coleman…see travis wood.

            i think bill bonham can hit 80 on the radar gun…….anyone got his number??

  • Anthony

    Doing some math.

    Other than younger prospects included in future deals with no 40-man concerns, one may almost conclude that some on the Cubs 40-man will be dealt before ST if this stockpiling continues. For example, a trade that may include Garza, Z, Dempster, Soto, etc. will probably return at least one new 40-man addition as a replacement.

    ST should be fun, and maybe they will hire more suits(evaluators) with the body count that will be competing, as you should also expect more minor league FA signings with ST invites.

    It may then get interesting when the 25 man is announced, how many go to Iowa, and how many are released.

    With the lower levels ready to push upward, and the 2011 draft class entering their first full season, this has a feel that Theo wants a collision course, or a clash of the system, and let the Theory of Darwinism do its thing. What quicker way is there to upgrade the system?

    Fuuny thing is this. As bad a scribes, etc. say the system is crapola, me thinks several rejects will get scooped up.

    As far as Sonnanstine is concerned. WS experience, small-market flavor experience, an opportunist, if he finds his past form, there is value at a low cost.

    Maybe Lidge is next.

    There is still the suit and tie compensation issue to be finalized.

    Unless these guys have some secret plans and throw us all a few curveballs, expect some of this:

    Garza in his prime years. Makes no sense to waste that value where his potential 13-20 wins are in a total of 80 wins. The AL East Clubs would use those to get to 90 plus wins. He is gone, unless an extension goes to 2016-17.

    If Miami doesn’t want Z now, or NYY, then let him pitch, and he is a deadline trade……………GONE

    Dempster may end up holding the bag, jury is out.

    I don’t talk about pitching that often because other than ACES, they are all pretty much the same from A ball to the Show as far as velocity and movement. Command and Control are the differences.

    A Jaramillo signing(no Varitek) is for a probable Soto trade.

    Look for some AA/AAA aging position players sent packing.

    It is commonplace in business that when the decision-making structure is changed, so are the employees.

    • Chadaudio

      Yeah, I was actually hoping we would be talking more about Jason Jaramillo.  He seems to be a very good defensive catcher on a minor league contract.  Better depth then R. Hill – right?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Well Andy only gave up 10 HRs in 35 IP last year. 

    He recoreded 12 Ks in 2011–in 35 IP, folks. He walked 12.

    The league hit .292 off of him, and slugged .555. He was making All-Stars out of every Punch and Judy hitter he faced.To say that other teams were teeing up against him is a huge understatement. 

    As a reliever, the league batted .274, slugged .403, and he averaged 3 K per 9 IP, and averaged walking 3.1 per 9 IP.Not an All-Star…….

    • Anthony

      snort, awful numbers, but Theo sees something, as ball hits backboard and results in “rebound”

      plus, who is out there in this mediocre FA crop, and who can the Cubs trade for an ACE?

      OK, so everyone moves forward, let him shake the system up, and see what sticks, right?

      The Boston RED SOX wil NOT be the legacy of Theo Epstein, the Cubs will. He has never done this before, as the roster he inherited in the Land’o’Chowdah was something all of us could have handled………………lol

      • Anthony

        “Manny, if you keep taking that stuff, let us know when you need a larger jersey as your teets grow”

    • EqDoc

      I think he will end up in AAA.  We are going to need AAA players because, most likely, we will be brining up a lot of young guys this year and then instead of rushing up the A and AA players, play these cheap signings in AAA and have them available for emergency back up.

  • RynoTiger

    I could have sworn I also saw that Theo and Jed are looking at signing Japanese LF Isuro Tanaka.  Might be worth the risk to see if he does better than Funko

  • Aaron

    At least he’s signing players that are still in their 20’s….Hendry would be going for guys that are on the verge of retiring, so while all 3 of these deals (Corpas, Sonnanstine, and Jaramillo) are “meh” type of signings, you at least have to hand it to Epstein and Hoyer…they’re still better than Hendry.

    • Ripsnorter1

      No sir, I am not ready to concede that just yet.

      Rodrigo Lopez is better than Manny Corpas or Sonnanstine.

      Jaramillo is 29.

  • Dave K from Iowa

    Have you seen any info on the dollar amount allotted for the 25 man roster? By my count figuring in arbitration raises and contracts that will be renewed the money looks to be around. 100 million. That doesn’t count any money for 1B unless you are figuring LaHair. 2011 salary was approx. 134 million. How much of a cut should we expect for 2012?

    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t know. I haven’t made any of the meetings between Theo and P.K. Ricketts, but expect a roster of $100 million. 

      I don’t expect Fielder. 
      I don’t know who will play 1B, but I don’t think Pena or LaHair will be in the picture. 

      • coolpdxcubsfan

        I still say that we still could end up with Pena back. I think the lay off was just some sort of accommodation between Theo and Boras

    • Neil

      I have not seen a specific amount for the 2012 big league club’s payroll. I have seen and heard speculation of the entire baseball budget (minors, majors, draft and international signings) will be around $200 million.

    • Tony_Hall

      I have them just shy of $100M, plus $1M for Dempster from his deferred money, $5M for Pena, and $2M for the buyout of Silva’s contract, puts them approx.$107M right now, if they use league minimum type players to round out their roster, and using projected arbitration numbers.

      • cubs1967

        lies from a Wall Street CEO……PK Ricketts family………no way payroll ends up same as last year nor can other baseball ops signings either. the draft is tied to slots now.  and they aren’t signing international FA……darvish as example.

        monies going somewhere…………

        we all need to do the math where……….

        hint……….follow the money to the owner.

        (or to paying off the mickey dees loan or to buyout Z or Sori………..but none of it to make the MLB product better…….2012 is for quitters)!

        • Tony_Hall

          Not sure what any of that has to do with my post.

        • Scott McMeekan

          Seriously man, you are such a downer.  I’ve been here at the CCO for quite awhile, and I’ve never seen anyone as pessimistic as you.  Not even Aaron, whom I appreciate so much. Tony, you are really doing an excellent job as well.  I’m learning a lot from both of you.  cubs, please, for the love of Pete just calm down a bit and see what happens.  I agree that things seem odd and I can’t make much sense of some of these deals and signings, but coming on the heels of the JH era I’m intrigued.  I’m all for everyone having their say, but you’re acting like a union employee who won’t vote for anything management puts forth.  Have a little faith man!  Let’s see how this plays out and then there will be plenty of opinions about what Rickets and Theo and Jed have done.  

          And just one more time, Neil, you are the best in this biz.  Bar none, I love the CCO and it’s always the first place I turn to for news of all things Cubs.  

          • Jeff in AZ

            Thank you. That needed to be said.

    • John_CC

      Kingman? Mr. Dave Kingman, is that you living in Iowa?

  • Tony_Hall

    Building inventory of players that are on the premise of Buy low/Sell high.  Not all of these “retreads” are going to work out, but if you pick up enough of them, that can still go to Iowa (options or minor league contract) you can build up a supply of guys who have a chance to be able to be sold high, if they bounce back.  

    • GaryLeeT

      So that’s all a major market team deserves? Throw a horrible dinner at the wall, and see what sticks? Hey Cub fans, pay the high ticket prices of today to fund the promise of a better tomorrow! Say ohhhhh about 6 years from now.
      There is still time for Theo & Co. to make moves that could prevent puking in  the isles of Wrigley, but as of today, I have not seen them.
      You know, McFail was the genius behind the Twins 2 W.S. winners. He got lots of leash length too.

      • Tony_Hall

        The payroll for next year will still be over $100M, it’s not like they went down to $60M or even less. Now how it is spent, he has had little say in, as he inherited a lot of bad contracts.

        They may still add to this team, from the overpriced free agent list, but that sure doesn’t seem to be the plan this year, more of the cleaning out the garbage from the last regime, and trying to add as many guys with upside as possible.

        They are not trying to win it all in 2012.  Theo has been given the opportunity to build this team, from the ground up, and he is not going to do that by adding overpriced free agents in his 1st year.  

        • GaryLeeT

          To pass on a desperate need (a PROVEN, young, left handed, power hitting 1st baseman), when they clearly have the salary space, is penny pinching, not problem solving. Guys like Fielder are not low hanging fruit that can be picked off the tree any ol’ year.

          • Tony_Hall

            So you want them to sign Fielder for 10 years, $255M…because that is what the asking price is right now.

          • GaryLeeT

            No, but there is more than one way for a contract to be structured. I would pay 28 mil a year, for 6 years, with opt an opt out clause.
            Some day (hopefully) the Cubs WILL have to pay big bucks to a superstar or two. There is no way around it. I didn’t hate what Hendry did with the long term contracts, I hated who he did them with. Seemingly talented players who did not have “it” between the ears, and in their hearts. They quickly succumbed to the weight expectations. Hendry was a horrible judge of baseball IQ, and heart.

          • daverj

            I’d make your proposal to Fielder too, but right now, he wouldn’t accept it.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Epstein has made a similar proposal to Fielder.  

            It’s ok to advocate for 
            signing Fielder, but if you want the Cubs to sign him now, then you have to be prepared to sign him for $250 mil over 10 years.  You said you wouldn’t sign Fielder for that kind of contract when Tony posed the question to you.  Thus, it sounds like you (like Epstein) wouldn’t sign Fielder either.

            It’s very easy to say there are other ways to structure a contract, but there is no indication that Fielder is up for anything close to the type of contract you mentioned.

          • GaryLeeT

             With the big market teams all set with 1st basemen, Fielder will not get what he’s asking for. The Cubs need to be prepared to make a serious offer. Not like that pathetic one they threw towards Darvish.

        • cc002600

          yes, 2012 payroll will be over 100M still because there is still some bad money left, but in 2013, all that will be gone, except for the goof in LF.  What the heck are they going to spend all that money on ?  Here’s the 2 options: don’t spend it and end up with 75M payroll or have 125M payoll by overpaying FA’s next winter.

          I guess I don’t understand why they are not going after guys like Edwin Jackson this winter. He’s young, with experience and upside.

          • Tony_Hall

            There will always be players to spend money on.  There will always be teams that can’t afford their talent and need to trade them away.  

            They are stockpiling as many “assets” as possible, and are evaluating what they have to start with, from the mess they were given.

            It’s not just the Cubs that makes you wonder on Edwin Jackson, why is he still available.  My guess is his asking price is above what all teams are willing to pay.  He’s has numbers, that if you didn’t know it was him, would be worth a very good payday, but his journeyman type career, has people wondering about him.

      • John_CC

        Gary, we’ve heard this argument a lot. And in theory it is deserved, the Cubs can certainly afford more, they are a huge market team. I’ve asked some of the others that have made this complaint, but have yet to hear a response. I hope maybe you will fill me in with your opinion.

        Which FA should the Cubs be pursuing/signing right now?  They clearly do not have the prospects to land pitchers like Latos and Gonzales, without gutting the farm system to nothing, so it would have to be via FA.  Would you rather have them paying the contracts that CJ Wilson, Buerhle, etc have received? Or to injury prone players like Reyes and Beltran?

        The other thing to remember is that next year’s FA starting pitching group will be substantial. If you know that 2012 is a wash, waiting for Byrd, Demp, Z to come off the books, why not take a longish view at just a year away with the chance to bid on Cain, Hamels, Greinke, Marcum, two Sanchez’s…on the OF side there is Kemp/Either, Granderson, Quentin…

        2012 just isn’t a great FA group for a re-building team. So do you want them to just spend money because they are supposed to as “big market” team even though they are trying to build for the future?

        • GaryLeeT

          Hey John,
          I wanted the Cubs to pick up Fielder, E. Jackson, or Saunders (I really wanted Darvish) this year, Matt Cain next. All are good enough to contribute now (so fans will pay those crazy ticket prices), but will also still be productive 4 years from now, when the other pieces have been put in place. I think it would be a hard sell to convince a fan base, with 103 year championship drought, to “please excuse our mess” while a 3 year construction project gets under way.

          • Tony_Hall

            Without unloading Z and Soriano and not having to pay that much, they couldn’t sign all of those guys.

            Fielder $25M
            E Jackson $10M-$12M (I think they want more than that)
            Saunders $5-$8M

            Darvish $50+M cash in a posting fee
            and $10-$15M in contract.

            That would take 107M payroll to $207M-$217M – minus the money not spent on Z/Soriano which is more than the entire baseball operations budget.

            I would like all of those players, but it is not realistic.

          • GaryLeeT

             That was an either/or for the Darvish and the other pitchers, not all. Obviously, Darvish now has to be excluded. Then the payroll is at 147. With tons coming off the books next year.

    • cubtex

      Are you saying….throw enough sh### against the wall and maybe some might stick? That is definately what they are doing.

      • Tony_Hall

        Kind of, Sonnastine doesn’t thrill me, but for an arm at AAA, if he has a good start to the year, he could be useful.   I can’t imagine there is anyway he starts the year on the 25 man roster (without a very good spring),  as they have a pretty crowded bullpen already.

        Chance for upside, with near zero down side.

        • Chadaudio

          Good point Tony.  It’s a minor league deal (basically)… nothing to get all worked up about.

      • daverj

        The Corpas and Sonnastine fall into the category of throw enough sh### players on a baseball field and maybe some of them will perform well enough for 3 months to return prospects in July.

        These are guys that (1) have shown skills and some success in the past (albeit a number of years ago), and (2) are cheap because they have shown little or no skill in the last couple years.  If one of them recaptures those skills, Epstein can move that player for a prospect or two in July and add to the farm system he is trying to develop.

        Most likely, they will both be terrible and won’t net anything back in a trade, but given the Cubs’ situation (weak farm system and no chance to compete in 2012), it makes sense to sign these cheap, low risk fliers.  

  • paulcatanese

    Liked every comment on here tonight, but gotta say, I’m more confused what these guys are doing than ever,would like to see some kind of plan other than passing all we have over and signing guys that are really suspect.
    It’s true though that they are not paying out money for what someone has done but what they will do, but I fail to see the logic trying to figure out what these guys may do, as most of them require a miracle turnaround to acomplish that.

  • daverj

    The mess seems like it will take about 3 years fix.  I think anything earlier than that is unrealistic.  Being a huge Cub fan for almost 40 years, I’m tired of waiting too, but I don’t see any other choice.  I see signing Fielder (at his current demands) as extending the wait for a title even longer as that may ruin the next 10 years.  I’d rather be patient for a couple years, then have another Soriano type signing result in no title for another 10 years.