It’s been nearly six years since Mark Prior threw a pitch in the majors. And since that time a number of teams have kicked the tires on him. He threw 12 minor league innings for the Yankees last year and that was mildly promising. But really, is anyone expecting him to ever pitch in a real big league game again?
Maybe the Red Sox are. Because Jon Heyman reports that they’re going to sign him to a minor league deal. UPDATE: They did it. His agent just confirmed.
I guess everyone looks at Prior and sees 2003. Good luck to him and them, but given his injury history and lack of any kind of momentum on any previous comeback, I don’t think anyone is holding their breath.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.