Tender decisions looming on Howell, Sonnanstine
The Rays face MLB's midnight deadline to tender contracts, with two of their arbitration-eligible pitchers - LHP J.P. Howell and RHP Andy Sonnanstine - candidates to not get them and allowed to become free agents.
The Rays other four arbitration-eligible players are obvious candidate to be tendered - RHP Jeff Niemann, RHP Joel Peralta, LHP David Price, CF B.J. Upton.
Howell - who was nontendered and then re-signed last year - rejoined the Rays in May after missing the 2010 season following shoulder surgery and struggled to regain his form, making 46 appearances with mixed results, posing a 2-3 record and 6.16 ERA with several rough endings. He made $1.1-million in 2011, a cut from his $1.8 salary in 2010, resigning with the Rays 11 days after being non-tendered. MLBtraderumors.com projects his 2012 salary at $1.4-million.
As of Sunday night, Howell said he hadn't heard anything from the Rays.
Sonnanstine had a rough 2011 season, splitting time between the Rays (who rarely used him) and Triple-A Durham, going 0-2, 5.55 in 15 big-league games (including four starts). He made $912,500 in 2011 after settling to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility. MLBtraderumors.com projects a slight raise to $1.1-million.