The Orioles might be interested in Mark Prior

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I do weekly a radio hit with Drew Forrester on Sports Talk 1570 WNST in Baltimore. A couple of weeks ago Drew asked me about that report that an unknown team was actually interested in Mark Prior following the announcement of his latest comeback attempt.  I didn’t know who the team was, but Drew — who cannot be accused of misunderstanding just how miserable the last decade of Orioles baseball have been — had a gut feeling that it was the Orioles because “it just sounds like something they’d do.”

Ahem:

The Orioles do have some interest in Mark Prior after scout Mark Ralston
watched him throw at USC on June 30, but they believe that he prefers
to remain on the West Coast. Not that Prior can be particularly choosy,
considering that he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006. The Orioles
will keep an eye on him.

Look, I’m not going to say that Mark Prior won’t make a successful comeback someday. I’m just sayin’ that if the Orioles are the only ones who think he’s got something left, don’t count on it.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.