Reds sign former Cubs ace Mark Prior

Friday March 1st, 2013

Mark Prior is attempting another comeback with the Reds and manager Dusty Baker. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Former Cubs ace Mark Prior is attempting another comeback with the Reds and his former manager Dusty Baker. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Reds have signed former Cubs pitching phenom Mark Prior to a minor-league deal according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Shoulder problems have kept Prior, 32, out of the majors since 2006, though he’s made several comeback attempts. He pitched 25 inningw with a 3.96 ERA in relief last season at Triple-A in the Red Sox’s organization.

“He called me and said asked for a chance,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I talked to Walt (Jocketty). (Prior) says he feels good. He feels like he has some unfinished business.

“This is gives him one more chance or a chance at closure.”

His reunion with Baker contains some irony considering that the former Cubs manager's heavy use of the righthander is often blamed for Prior’s injury. Prior was 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 233 innings (including playoffs) when Baker was the Cubs' manager 10 years ago.

“They always want to blame somebody,” Baker said. “It’s usually someone at the top.”

Apparently Prior doesn't blame Baker who said he and his former ace have remained in contact over the years.

“I talk to him a couple of times a year,” Baker said. “He’s always came to see when we were in San Diego.”
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