CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Andy Sonnanstine have agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed split contract for the 2012 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sonnanstine, who turns 29 in March, 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. The righty began his career by making 71 straight starts before pitching primarily in relief his last two seasons (56 appearances, eight starts). 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. During that season, Sonnanstine issued only 37 walks in 193.1 innings, an average of only 1.7 walks per nine innings pitched.
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. In the majors, Sonnanstine posted a 3.12 ERA (6 ER/17.1 IP) in his 11 relief appearances in 2011, walking only two batters in 17.1 innings pitched.
A native of Barberton, OH, Sonnanstine was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 13th round of the 2004 Draft out of Kent State University.