Prior signs with Reds
The Reds have signed former Cubs RHP Mark Prior to a Minor League contract on Friday. The deal became official as Prior passed a physical, which was no small hangup. Shoulder injuries have kept Prior out of the big leagues since 2006.
“I still have an opportunity,” Prior told MLB.com. “I don’t necessarily feel like a martyr or something because I’ve worked hard and I should be paid with an opportunity, but I’m grateful for it. I don’t take it for granted. I’ll do everything I can to go out and perform and try for a spot. I enjoy competing, first and foremost. It’s always a joy to go out and compete. I’m going to take it day by day. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s literal for me. I really do have to take it day by day. I was in San Diego without a job on Tuesday and I’m here today.”
Prior, who pitched at Triple-A for the Red Sox and in independent ball last season, asked Reds manager Dusty Baker for a chance to continue his comeback.
“He said ‘hey man, I’d like to try it one more time,'” Baker said. “I said I would try to make the opportunity available to you. I called Walt. He had been throwing and working out so he got into camp.”
Baker was Prior’s manager with the Cubs, and was aware that there would be some eyebrows raised when Prior signed. Many fans have blamed Baker for the injuries that derailed Prior’s All-Star career.
“It’s going to open old wounds,” Baker said. “There’s no manager around that doesn’t have somebody that has gotten seriously hurt? The more you manage, the more the chance you have guys [that get hurt]. It’s like I got Kerry Wood [hurt]. He had Tommy John already and pitched six, seven years after.”
I will have a full story soon on MLB.com.