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.”
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.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.