Sonnanstine Outrighted to Iowa
The Cubs have sent RHP Andy Sonnanstine outright to AAA Iowa.
THe 29-year old right-hander had a really bad Spring Training, allowing 13 hits in 5.0 IP, with a 14.40 ERA and a 3.20 WHIP in four Cactus League games.
Sonnanstine was signed by the Cubs as a free-agent on December 26th, two weeks after being non-tendered by the Tampa Bay Rays. He reportedly signed a non-guaranteed major league contract with a minor league "split" salary (which he is paid if he is sent to the minors).
Because Sonnanstine has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time (4+022 to be exact), he has the right (per Article XX-D of the CBA) to refuse the Outright Assignment and be a free-agent immediately, or accept the Outright Assignment and defer his right to be a free-agent until after the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular season.
He has three days to decide.
If he chooses to be a free-agent immediately, his contract is terminated and he receives no termination pay.
If he accepts the Outright Assignment, his contract remains in force, he is paid at the minor league "split" salary rate at Iowa, and he can file for free-agency on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. However, he cannot be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent post-2012 if he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
Because he would be giving-up only a minor league split salary (which might be $250K), Sonnanstine could be more-inclined to opt to be a free-agent immediately than was Blake DeWitt, who would have turned his back on a guaranteed major league contract worth $1.1M if he had chosen free-agency immediately after being outrighted to Iowa last month.
The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open), and the Cubs MLB Spring Training roster is now down to 47 players (must be down to 25 by MLB Opening Day on 4/4).