Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays tender J.P. Howell, nontender Andy Sonnanstine, trade for Miami Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays further shaped their bullpen Monday, adding a potentially interesting piece by acquiring groundball specialist Burke Badenhop from the Marlins and tendering a contract to left-hander J.P. Howell while cutting ties with Andy Sonnanstine.

Howell was one of six arbitration-eligible players tendered by the midnight deadline, with outfielder B.J. Upton and pitchers Badenhop, Jeff Niemann, Joel Peralta and David Price.

Badenhop, 28, spent parts of the past four seasons in the majors, compiling a 13-15, 4.34 record. He is a right-hander with a three-quarters delivery whose strength is getting batters to hit his sinker into the ground: His 58.5 percent ground ball rate was 10th highest of all pitchers who worked 60 innings last season.

Badenhop said he was surprised to be traded and to end up with the Rays — "It was kind of different," he said — but liked what he heard from executive VP Andrew Friedman. "Andrew said with the way they run their defense and defensive positioning and stuff, that he thinks it's going to work wonders for a guy like myself," he said. "I'm basically trying to put the ball on the ground and let my defense do some work."

Howell's status was in question as rejoined the Rays in May after missing the 2010 season following shoulder surgery but struggled, going 2-3 with a 6.16 ERA over 46 appearances. But Friedman said they are encouraged Howell — who made $1.1 million after being non-tendered and re-signed last December — can regain his form: "We're big believers in who J.P. is and what he's done to put himself in position to have a good 2012 season. J.P. is one of those guys you bet on.''

The Rays didn't have much use for Sonnanstine as the 2011 season went on, sending him to the minors in July after he made only 14 appearances. Friedman acknowledged his past work but said there was no longer an "optimal fit" and "we felt like there would be better opportunities for him elsewhere.''

Sonnanstine, who made $912,500, finished 2011 with an 0-2, 5.55 record.

Badenhop, who made $750,000 last season, said he wasn't sure what to think when the Marlins called Monday, but he assumed he wasn't being dumped for financial reasons. "We knew they couldn't cry poor anymore after the last couple weeks," he said.

The Rays got him at a relatively low cost: minor-league catcher Jake Jefferies, a 2008 third-round pick who has played only six games above Class A. He hit .238 in 2011, spending most of the season at Class A Charlotte.

Around the majors

BREWERS ADD SLUGGER: Milwaukee agreed to terms with free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, agent Paul Kinzer said. The Brewers are expected to lose first baseman Prince Fielder through free agency and may be without NL MVP Ryan Braun for 50 games after he tested positive for a banned substance.

PHILS-JAYS TRADE: The Phillies traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Blue Jays for minor-league left-hander Frank Gailey.

PIRATES-BREWERS TRADE: Pittsburgh acquired third baseman Casey McGehee from Milwaukee for right-handed reliever Jose Veras.

CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal, acquired at the July trade deadline, agreed to a $14 million, two-year contract.

D'BACKS: Free-agent right-handed reliever Takashi Saito agreed to terms.

MARLINS: Free-agent outfielder Aaron Rowand signed a minor-league deal.

METS: Team owners recently got a $40 million loan to help with cash flow, a year after getting a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Tampa Bay Rays tender J.P. Howell, nontender Andy Sonnanstine, trade for Miami Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop 12/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The way Mikhail Sergachev celebrated his first NHL goal Thursday night, you would think he had done this for years.

    Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky, front, runs interference against Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman to get to the puck.
  2. Joe Smith's takeaways from Thursday's Lightning-Blue Jackets game

    Lightning Strikes

    While Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov grab the headlines, don't sleep on their linemate, Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov is far from a third wheel, with eight points in eight games. "He might not have the names the other two have, but he's as pivotal and vital to that line as the others," coach Jon Cooper said.

  3. Lightning journal: Derrick Brooks helps J.T. Brown make a difference

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown's decision to stop his anthem protest began to take shape just a few days after he raised his right fist before the Oct. 7 game against the Panthers in Sunrise.

    J.T. Brown, above, met with Bucs Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks for help in forming a plan to make a difference in the community.
  4. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed the preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' basketball poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.
  5. Bucs journal: Jameis Winston to test hurt shoulder in practice Friday


    TAMPA — Bucs QB Jameis Winston still wasn't throwing at practice Thursday, but he'll test his injured shoulder today as Tampa Bay keeps its options open for Sunday's game at Buffalo.

    Defensive end Robert Ayers, who played against the Cardinals on Sunday, is on the injury report with a knee issue. He was limited in practice.