I do weekly a radio hit with Drew Forrester on Sports Talk 1570 WNST in Baltimore. A couple of weeks ago Drew asked me about that report that an unknown team was actually interested in Mark Prior following the announcement of his latest comeback attempt. I didn’t know who the team was, but Drew — who cannot be accused of misunderstanding just how miserable the last decade of Orioles baseball have been — had a gut feeling that it was the Orioles because “it just sounds like something they’d do.”
The Orioles do have some interest in Mark Prior after scout Mark Ralston
watched him throw at USC on June 30, but they believe that he prefers
to remain on the West Coast. Not that Prior can be particularly choosy,
considering that he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006. The Orioles
will keep an eye on him.
Look, I’m not going to say that Mark Prior won’t make a successful comeback someday. I’m just sayin’ that if the Orioles are the only ones who think he’s got something left, don’t count on it.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.