The Yankees and Rangers aren’t just bidding for Cliff Lee’s services, but it appears they are also the two finalists for Mark Prior.
That’s right. According to Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse, Prior will sign a minor league contract with one of the two clubs.
Prior, who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2006, started his comeback this year by pitching with the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League. The Rangers signed the now 30-year-old right-hander to a minor league deal in September and he pitched one scoreless inning with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Prior reportedly showed good velocity during his time in the independent league and hopes to resurrect his career as a relief pitcher.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.