UPDATE: According to Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse, Prior’s deal with the Yankees is worth $750,000 if he makes the team. He is also willing to go to the minor leagues if he doesn’t make the club during spring training.
Jon Heyman of SI.com writes that he could make $750,000 in additional incentives, meanwhile Joel Sherman of the New York Post says he could make an additional $800,000 based on innings pitched. You get the point. He’s gotta pitch to get paid.
6:13 PM: That Brian Cashman still has it, man! He just outbid the Rangers and signed Mark Prior to a minor league contract, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
In all seriousness, before you honestly think that this is part of the team’s “Plan B,” remember that we first mentioned the Bombers’ interest in the oft-injured right-hander last week. Now that it’s official, he’ll be reunited with his former pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
Prior, who is now 30 years old, hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues since 2006, but he began yet another comeback in 2010, even pitching a scoreless inning with Triple-A Oklahoma City at the end of the season after signing a minor league deal with the Rangers. He’s hoping to get his career back on track as a relief pitcher.
The Yankees obviously aren’t counting on anything — nobody would — but hey, what’s the harm?
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.