Mark Prior Rumors
Today is free agent Cliff Floyd's birthday. He is 36 years young. His knees are not. Also, on this date 18 years ago, the San Diego Padres sent Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter to the Blue Jays for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez, in one of the biggest trades ever featuring young, proven talent. Got one that can top that? Let's hear it in the comments...With little action so far this year, the Hot Stove Season is ugly, Don Mossi ugly. Let's take a look at what is being written in the blogosphere...
- Mets Geek takes a look at three recent rumored deals that may be sitting on Omar Minaya's desk and ponders whether or not the Mets should make each trade.
- The Detroit Tigers Weblog breaks down what a Jack Wilson trade would mean for the Tigers.
- Fire Brand of the American League feels that with the recent additions to the bullpen, the Red Sox may be better suited to insert Justin Masterson into the rotation, rather than sign a high-priced free agent.
- Ump Bump suggests that the Angels could get more bang for the buck if they sign Adam Dunn over Mark Teixeira.
- The 'Burgh Blues picks through the scraps and identifies eight players they would like to see the Pirates invite to Spring Training, including Richie Sexson, Sidney Ponson, Mark Prior and Matt Clement.
- MLB Notebook takes a look at the big guns in the free agent market and feels that the Yankees are no longer in a position to set the pace. Rather, they argue that the Angels now control the market.
- East Windup Chronicle feels that some are underestimating the amount of potential Major League talent playing in Japan, noting the number is "at least 30" and considerably more if they had the opportunity to start in the minors out of high school.
- Bernies Crew likes the Jorge Julio signing by the Brewers, noting the move gives the team much needed flexibility and depth in the bullpen.
John Perrotto over at Baseball Prospectus has his weekly column up... let's take a look at what he has to say:
- Couple of notes about the Red Sox: Perrotto expects Theo Epstein to re-sign Jason Varitek to a two-year deal in the $16MM range. This seems like drastically overpaying for what Varitek has become, in my opinion, but as Perrotto points out, there's very little on the free agent market. Epstein will then look to trade for a young catcher who can become the starter in 2010 or 2011. Additionally, he'll try to move Mike Lowell to open up a spot for either Mark Teixeira or Garrett Atkins, but that won't be an easy task most likely. On a Manny-related note, Terry Francona said the last couple months of 2008 were the "most fun he's ever had" in Boston, calling them "tremendous." He didn't mention Manny specifically, but does he really have to?
- Perrotto says the Mets have decided to pass on Francisco Rodriguez, and will instead pursue Brian Fuentes, as well as Derek Lowe. The Red Sox may also make a strong pitch for Lowe.
- The Padres will likely take some gambles on rehabbing pitchers for 2009. Perrotto lists Mark Mulder, Matt Clement, and Mark Prior as candidates.
- Toronto's interim president Paul Beeston is making A.J. Burnett the organization's top priority, and Perrotto feels that Burnett wants to stay. Personally, I'm in the other camp and see Burnett opting out and cashing in on a big payday.
- The Rangers will almost certainly pick up Hank Blalock's $6.2MM option for 2009.
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Petco Park remains the preferred choice of free agent pitchers returning from injury. In particular, the agents for Mark Mulder, Mark Prior, Matt Clement, and Kevin Correia admit their clients have San Diego at the top of their list. If the Padres trade Jake Peavy, they'll have all kinds of uncertainty in the rotation and some payroll to play with.
A few more names from the injury bargain bin: Kris Benson, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Mike Hampton, Jason Jennings, Pedro Martinez, Sergio Mitre, Carl Pavano, and Brad Penny.
Links for Wednesday...
- Mark Prior hopes to return to the Padres, according to a blogger who talked to him at a pumpkin patch. That wheelbarrow looks a bit heavy...
- I am still digging through the many applications for the Saturday morning position - thanks for your interest. Tons of great candidates in the mix.
- Viva El Birdos reflects on Mark Mulder's time with the Cardinals. Mulder is trying everything he can to get back to his old self.
- Dave Cameron names Mike Cameron the top free agent bargain of last offseason.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman looks at how the Rays were built.
- Joe Posnanski looks at the divergent paths of the Royals and Rays.
- Sox Machine considers some free agent fits for the White Sox.
- Mets owner Jeff Wilpon spoke about "addition by subtraction" in a recent radio interview.
- I agree with this take on the Mark Ellis signing.
- Patrick Newman believes NPB will eventually soften its stance toward Junichi Tazawa.
- Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald doesn't like the idea of the Red Sox shifting things around to accomodate Mark Teixeira.
- The Mariners apparently have still not decided on their new GM.
6:33pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to Boggs, who says Prior is interested in returning to the Padres. He could be a low-cost option for them, but it's unknown whether they're interested. Prior is currently playing catch (well, maybe not right this second).
10:24am: According to ESPN's Buster Olney:
Mark Prior, who had a second, less-invasive surgery on his right shoulder earlier this year, is in the midst of a throwing program and should be ready for the start of the 2009 season, said his agent, John Boggs. Prior is expected to file for free agency. "He said he feels good, that his shoulder has never felt better," said Boggs.
Prior, 28, was originally targeting May for his Padres debut. Then it was pushed to June, and then his season ended with more surgery. Last winter, at least ten teams contacted Boggs about Prior. Aside from the Padres, the most aggressive were the Astros, Cardinals, Mets, and Rangers.
MLB.com's Corey Brock reports that San Diego Padres pitcher Mark Prior will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn muscle in his shoulder. The Padres signed the injury-plagued starter to a $1MM contract this offseason.
While the news of Prior having to miss a season due to surgery doesn't come as much of a surprise, a healthy rebound would have been a bright spot in what has otherwise been a tough season for the Padres. The team saw Jake Peavy, Chris Young, and Josh Bard all hit the DL in May.
It's unfortunate, but it seems like this will make teams even more hesitant to look at Prior this offseason. The right-hander undoubtedly has great talent, but has pitched just 43.2 innings since the beginning of the 2006 season.
Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune has more details on Mark Prior's contract and suitors.
Prior cited the Astros, Cardinals, Mets, and Rangers as the most aggressive; about half the teams in baseball contacted his agent.
Contract details: it has a $1MM base with another possible $3.5MM in incentives. However, much of the incentive money is tied to the number of starts he makes, so he'll probably end up earning $3MM or less in 2008.
How bad was the shoulder injury? How far along is Prior in his rehab? I've talked to some people and read published reports and am unable to draw any consistent conclusion. Rick Wilton of Baseball Injury Report thinks the chance of a meaningful contribution from Prior in '08 is close to zero. Others are a bit more optimistic, but we'll just have to wait and see.
UPDATE, 12-26-07 at 4:33pm: Prior gets $1MM guaranteed and can earn another $4.5MM in incentives.
FROM 12-26-07 at 1:05pm:
Ah, some real news. ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Padres have reached an agreement with Mark Prior. It's a one-year deal with a low $1MM base. Olney says incentives could bring the total past $3MM, which is still a very reasonable gamble. Now Prior can rebuild his value in a great pitcher's park and re-enter free agency in a year. Click here to read about the specific shoulder damage Prior had repaired.
Prior is throwing on flat ground currently, and there's talk of mid-May. I think three solid months out of Prior would be more realistic, though. The Padres' rotation will contain two ex-Cubs, Prior and Greg Maddux. With Jake Peavy, Chris Young, and Randy Wolf on board, the rotation is certainly impressive on paper.
On December 19th, ESPN's Jayson Stark named the White Sox as one of eleven teams interested in free agent starter Mark Prior. However, White Sox GM Kenny Williams was asked whether he had interest in Prior yesterday and replied in the negative (hat tip to South Side Sox). So, no Prior jerseys on the south side.
The current scoreboard on Prior: the Red Sox, Mets, Cardinals, Padres, Astros, Giants, Reds, Nationals, Marlins, and Indians are in. The Yankees, White Sox, Rangers, Phillies, and Pirates are out. Buster Olney recently said that Prior could make his decision by this evening and named San Diego as the frontrunner.
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan has all the latest hot stove buzz around the Rangers.
- The Rangers are nearing a deal with Eddie Guardado. Everyday Eddie might be a dark horse to close, if he can flash his late season form again. The Reds decided in October that he was not worth $3.5MM, and declined his option. Guardado is 37.
- The Rangers hope to add some kind of veteran starter. Bartolo Colon and Jason Jennings are still options, but Mark Prior and Freddy Garcia pretty much are not. Sullivan names Mike Maroth, Mark Hendrickson, and Josh Towers as pitchers of interest.
- Mike Cameron could be an option for center field if he'll take a one-year deal. A multiyear demand would also take the Rangers out of the running for Corey Patterson.
- Sullivan notes that the Reds want Edinson Volzquez for Josh Hamilton, a possibility he first mentioned three weeks ago. Jamey Newberg doesn't think Volquez would cut it. Other trade options could include Andre Ethier, Coco Crisp, and Juan Pierre.
- The Rangers will pass on a Kevin Mench reunion.