Mark Prior’s latest comeback attempt will be with the Reds, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the oft-injured right-hander is in camp today after inking a minor-league deal.
That means Prior is reunited with Dusty Baker, who managed the Cubs back when Prior was looking like a future Hall of Famer and allowed him to rack up huge pitch counts that would be pretty shocking by current standards for young arms.
“He called me and asked for a chance,” Baker told Fay. “I talked to [general manager] Walt [Jocketty]. He says he feels good. He feels like he has some unfinished business. This is gives him one more chance or a chance at closure.”
Prior is 32 years old now and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006. He spent last season at Triple-A in the Red Sox’s organization, throwing 25 innings with a 3.96 ERA and 38/25 K/BB ratio as a full-time reliever.
With Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna gone, the next logical step for the Marlins would be to trade away Christian Yelich. He’s be an amazingly attractive trade candidate given that he is under team control through 2022, and is owed a very reasonable $58 million or so. He just turned 26 last week and has hit .290/.369/.432 in his five year career. That’s the kind of player and contract that could bring back a mess of prospects.
Except the Marlins, it seems, don’t want to do that. Multiple reports have come out in the last hour saying that the Marlins intend to hold on to Yelich and to build around him.
That could be a negotiating ploy, of course. They’ll no doubt listen to offers and, if the right one comes along, they’d certainly give strong consideration to trading him. A good deal is a good deal.
The only question, in light of the events of the last week, is whether the Marlins would know a good deal if they saw one.