Minor Deals: Cubs Agree To Deal With Andy Sonnanstine, Close On Jason Jaramillo

By Randy Holt

The Cubs continued their run of signing guys to small deals and building up some depth this offseason with Monday’s signing of former Tampa Bay Ray Andy Sonnanstine.

Sonnanstine’s contract is a split one, meaning there’s a chance he’ll bounce between Chicago and Triple-A Iowa next season. Nonetheless, he fits the bill as the type of pitcher the Cubs are looking for.

The Cubs have been looking to build up their depth in their pitching staff, and with Sonnanstine they get the type of guy they lacked last season. With injuries to Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner early on the season, the Cubs were forced to go with the likes of Casey Coleman and James Russell in the rotation.

Sonnanstine has been used primarily as a reliever in the past couple seasons, throwing just over 35 innings with Tampa Bay last season. The 28-year-old began his career as a starter, with his ‘best’ season coming back in 2008, when the Rays went to the World Series. That season, Sonnanstine tossed 193 innings to a 4.38 ERA.

His split contract is similar to that of the contract that Manny Corpas recently signed, but Sonnanstine is more versatile, which made him attractive to the Cubs.

Also on the Cubs’ radar is catcher Jason Jaramillo. The Cubs are reportedly looking into a minor league deal with the former Pittsburgh catcher, who missed much of the 2011 season due to injury. In 366 career plate appearances, Jaramillo has a .235 average and a .293 on-base percentage.

You can add Jaramillo’s name to the mix of guys who could be competing to be the backup catcher to Geovany Soto. With Koyie Hill non-tendered, someone knew will be behind the dish on Soto’s days off. As of right now, Jaramillo will be competing with Steve Clevenger  and Welington Castillo.

Both Sonnanstine and Corpas have officially been signed to those split contracts, while nothing is official yet with Jaramillo. Stay tuned for that one, as exciting as it is.

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