The Padres have signed right-hander Mark Prior to a 1-year deal worth a guaranteed $1 million plus incentives that vary depending on whom you ask. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the total package could be worth “over $3 million”, while Dan Hayes at the North County Times places the high end at $5.5 million.
Quoth GM Kevin Towers:
Mark Prior is a competitor and is working hard to regain the form that made him one of the great young pitchers in the game.
The good news is that Prior is 27 years old and has name recognition. The bad news is everything else. He made nine ugly (1-6, 7.21 ERA) big-league starts in 2006 and missed all of 2007 after April shoulder surgery.
You can look at Prior’s 2003 season (18-6, 2.43 ERA) and dream of enjoying a World Series game at Petco Park in October. Heck, you can pin a Farrah Fawcett poster on your wall and pretend it’s 1976. Both are kind of fun in their own way.
I’m putting the over-under at 50 innings and hoping that I’ll be pleasantly surprised. On the bright side, Towers has made me look stupid more times than I can count for questioning his pitching moves over the years; maybe he’ll do it again. If not, hey, at least it didn’t cost much.