Cubs Part Ways with Mark Prior

A decision that has been long overdue: the Cubs and Mark Prior have finally parted ways.

The Cubs opted not to tender a contract to the right-handed pitcher by Wednesday’s 11 p.m. CT deadline, and Prior is now a free agent.

The Cubs would have preferred to non-tender Prior and re-sign him for less than last season’s $3.575 million and include a club option for 2009. However, the Cubs hit a stalemate as negotiations on a possible 2008 contract for the arbitration-eligible Prior¬† were unsuccessful. Now, Prior is looking for a new team.

Prior is everything that is wrong with baseball. Well, not everything, but a lot. This is a guy who made his debut in 2002, but has only compiled 42 wins since 2002. He has been selected to the 2003 All-Star Game, but he missed it due to injuries.

Prior’s name should be (if it isn’t already) synonymous with injuries. In 2007, he didn’t pitch at all because of shoulder ailments. When he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on March 28, he even had the guts to joke about it: “I’ll go down and help that team win, and try to make the Triple-A All-Star team and maybe I’ll get invited to the Futures Game or something.” I don’t think the Cub nation was giddy, however.

For some reason, Prior is optimistic about making a return. Said Prior, “The goal is, obviously, to come back. I expect to come back. This day and age playing, we’re fortunate to have medicine and technology that gives us a second chance.”

Again, injuries define Prior. He’s possibly even worse than Mike Hampton. Let’s quickly go over Prior’s injuries since 2004. In 2004, Prior was forced to miss the first two months of the 2004 season due to an achilles tendon injury. After coming off the disabled list Prior did not pitch up to expectations. In 2005, prior to the beginning of the season, Prior had an elbow strain that sidelined him for a few weeks. Then on May 27, 2005 he was sidelined when a comeback line drive from Brad Hawpe hit Prior on the elbow. In 2006, Prior was sidelined due to a strained shoulder; he came back, but then on July 14, 2006 missed two days due to a strained left oblique that he somehow attained in batting practice. He was sidelined the rest of 2006 season after being diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis on August 14, 2006.

John Boggs, Prior’s agent, expects Prior to be ready for the Major Leagues in mid- to late May, but told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday that “if you want to be conservative, tack a few months onto that.” I think the proper (truthful) claim would have been “tack a few years to that.”

Any team that is seriously considering Prior is seriously considering investing into fool’s gold.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on December 12, 2007.

One Response to “Cubs Part Ways with Mark Prior”

  1. […] Sign Mark Prior; Hilarity Ensues Mark Prior, banished from the Cubs less than a month ago, has found a new home. He is now going to be a San Diego […]

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