Yankees strike back, sign Mark Prior to minor league deal

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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?

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.