Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that he ran into Mark Prior at the Winter Meetings and was told the Prior has officially retired and could join the Padres front office. Prior's most recent comeback attempt with the Reds in 2013 was cut short when he once again injured his shoulder.
Prior, now 33 years of age, hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2006. Drafted second overall behind Joe Mauer in the 2001 draft, Prior burst onto the scene in 2002-03 with the Cubs in dominant fashion. In his first 328 big league innings, Prior posted a 2.74 ERA with a 392-to-88 (4.45) K/BB ratio.
Unfortunately, Prior would go on to throw just 329 additional Major League innings in an injury-riddled career. Multiple injuries to his rotator cuff, labrum and anterior capsule in his right shoulder required multiple surgeries that have limited 58 2/3 innings in affiliated ball since the end of the 2006 season.
Prior's once-promising playing career officially comes to an end with a 3.51 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 657 innings. Prior signed a then-record $10.5MM contract out of the 2001 draft, which stood until 2009 when Stephen Strasburg signed a four-year $15.1MM deal as the No. 1 overall pick.
The Padres organization has lost several key members of its field staff following the hiring of Rick Renteria as Cubs manager, and it also lost special assistant Brad Ausmus to the Tigers. Prior could bring a wealth of knowledge to assist GM Josh Byrnes and his staff.