Chicago Cubs Sign ex-Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Andy Sonnanstine

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Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Andy Sonnanstine have agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed split contract for the 2012 season, which means he’ll make more if he makes the major league team.

Sonnanstine has pitched all or part of the last five seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays (2007-11) and has been utilized as both a starting pitcher (80 starts) and a reliever (52 relief outings) during that span. Overall, he is 28-31 with one save and a 5.26 ERA (316 ER/540.1 IP) in his big league career, walking only 136 batters in 540.1 innings, an average of 2.3 walks per nine innings pitched.The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder reached the majors with Tampa Bay in 2007 and enjoyed a breakout season the next year, going 13-9 with a 4.38 ERA (94 ER/193.1 IP) in 32 starts to help the Rays to the 2008 American League Championship and the club’s first World Series appearance.  Since that season though, Sonnanstine’s career had gone downhill.

Sonnanstine split the 2011 campaign between Tampa Bay and Triple-A Durham.  He went 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA (22 ER/35.2 IP) in 15 big league appearances (four starts) and went 3-6 with a 4.82 ERA (30 ER/56.0 IP) in 10 minor league outings, all but one as a starter.

The ink also dried on the deal between the Cubs and Manny Corpas’ who was also given a non-guaranteed split contract.

Corpas is 12-16 with 34 saves, 51 holds and a 3.93 ERA (125 ER/286.0 IP) in all or part of five major league seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2006-10).  He missed the 2011 campaign due to Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in September 2010.  Corpas has 206 strikeouts and only 80 walks in 286.0 innings pitched, an average of only 2.5 walks per nine innings pitched.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder broke into the big leagues in 2006 at the age of 24 and became Colorado’s closer midway through the 2007 campaign, helping the Rockies to the World Series by going 4-2 with 19 saves and a 2.08 ERA (18 ER/78.0 IP) in 78 relief appearances.  His 2.08 ERA was the lowest relief mark in franchise history. Since that season though, his career arc is moving faster downhill than a Lindsey Vonn World Cup time.

Corpas is a native of Panama City, Panama and was originally signed by the Rockies as a non-drafted free agent on August 26, 1999.  He spent the 2011 campaign in the Rangers organization but did not pitch.

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