Thursday, December 13, 2007

Expect Mets and Yanks to Have Eye for Prior

The Chicago Cubs announced that they non-tendered 27-year old Mark Prior last night after they failed sign or trade him.

The Cubs wanted Prior to return, but expected him to agree to a pay cut because they did not want to pay over $3 million again for him to take up space on the disabled list. Realizing they were not going to reach an agreement with him they shopped him around the league hoping to trade him for prospects. The only serious inquiries came out of San Diego, but it appears the Padres did not want him badly enough to give up anything at all.

Now they’ll have their chance at signing him as a free-agent. Also expect the Mets and the Yankees to be interested in him as well. The Mets are desperate for starting pitching and have tried and failed to match up with teams in deals for Johan Santana, Dan Haren, and Eric Bedard.

The Yankees may make an offer for him because paying a pitcher $3.5 million to not pitch is nothing to them as they have paid Carl Pavano $40 million to not pitch for years.

The Yankees and Prior also have a past history together. In 1998 the Yankees drafted him in the first round out of high school, but failed to sign him.

Prior is recovering from shoulder surgery and is not expected to be ready to pitch until at least June this season. He did not pitch in 2007 and has not thrown more than 200 innings since 2003. That year was the best year of his career as he went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA while striking out 245. Overall he is 42-29 with a lifetime 3.51 ERA.

Go to Hot Stove New York for more Mets and Yankees news.

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