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?

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.