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MLB Free Agency 2011: Tampa Bay Rays Tender Offer To BJ Upton, Non-tender Andy Sonnanstine

The Tampa Bay Rays took it within fifteen minutes of the deadline, but tendered offers to six of seven arbitration eligible players.

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As the midnight deadline for tendering offers rapidly approached on Monday night, the Tampa Bay Rays were one of few teams in the majors to release any information about their plans to tender contract offers to their arbitration eligible players. Then, about fifteen minutes before the deadline, the Rays made the announcement that they had tendered offers to six of their seven arbitration eligibles. The only player who was a non-tender was righty Andy Sonnanstine. Marc Topkin delivered the news just before midnight.

Via Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times:

The Rays went within 15 minutes of the midnight deadline and announced that RHP Andy Sonnanstine was not tendered a contract and their six other arbitration eligible players were, including LHP J.P. Howell.

Also tendered were RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Jeff Niemann, RHP Joel Peralta, LHP David Price and CF B.J. Upton.

Sonnanstine was drafted by the Rays in the 13th round of the 2004 draft and made his debut in the majors in 2007. He struggled for much of a 2011 season, splitting time between Tampa and Triple A Durham. The tendered offer to Upton immediately sparked Twitter speculation that the trade rumors surrounding Upton will once again heat up and persist.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Rays, visit SB Nation's Rays blog, DRaysBay.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.