Yankees interested in Mark Prior

Eiland catches on with the Rays
Diaz joins the Pirates

Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees and free agent right-hander Mark Prior have mutual interest in what would surely be a minor league deal. Prior has not yet worked out for the team, though they have scouting him during his various independent league stints over the years. Prior did through one inning in Triple-A this past September (for the Rangers), his first action in affiliated ball since 2006. There’s no such thing as a bad minor league contract, but sheesh.

The Yankees, of course, drafted Prior 43rd overall in 1998 but the two sides could not come to terms with a contract. He then went to Vanderbilt for a year before landing at USC and eventually went second overall in 2001. The rest, as they say, is history.

Eiland catches on with the Rays
Diaz joins the Pirates
  • Nick!

    Well we fixed Kerry Wood, why not Mark Prior?

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      New York: Chicago-East. But with more titles.

      • Pat D

        Because I’ve been falling asleep practically all day and my eyes have been playing tricks on me since about 1 PM, I totally misread the word “titles.”

        • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

          We have more of those too, don’t worry about it.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    Well, he’s worked with Rothschild before…

  • Jorge

    The winner gets….Mark Prior! The loser gets….Mark Prior!

  • http://twitter.com/tjamato T.J.

    I say go for it.

    He’s only 30 and if it doesn’t work out then they cut him.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    I wonder how Prior’s career would have played out if he signed with us in 98. Oh well, he’d be a good gamble if he can prove he’s healthy.

    • MikeD

      I know conventional wisdom is that Dusty Baker blew his arm out, but wasn’t there some other way Prior got hurt, like a collision while on base, or some non-pitching related incident?

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        He collided with Giles in July 2003, after he came off the DL he went 11 GS, 82.2 IP, 1.52 ERA, 95 K, 16 BB, averaging 126 pitches/start. And in the playoffs he went 3 GS, 23.1, 2.31 ERA, 18K, 9 BB, averaging 123 pitches/start.

        Maybe one thing caused the issues or the combination caused the issues – either way Dusty abused his arm that season.

  • http://none Angel
  • Evilest Empire

    Sure, why not?

    :::does not hold breath:::

    whatever that expression means.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

    He then went to Vanderbilt for a year before landing at USC and eventually went second overall in 2001.

    And weren’t the Twins panned for passing on him to take a local kid? I’d say Joe Mauer worked out just fine for them.

    • Gonzo

      They took Mauer for $ reasons.

    • Plank

      Yeah, I rembember. The Twins were accused of taking Mauer for money reasons, but they insisted they thought he would be better in the majors. No one believed them.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        No one believed them
        Nor should we. No one knew Mauer would be a HOF-caliber catcher and Prior would fall to pieces after a few years when everyone talked about his perfect mechanics (until he got hurt then he had bad mechanics).

        • Plank

          I disagree. At the time of the draft, I thought the Twins were going the cheap route. After a decade of awesomeness, the Twins have shown they have the ability to scout and develop players unlike any other system in the game. The state of Minnesota isn’t exactly a hotbed of high school scouting activity. I really think the Twins saw greatness in Mauer and picked him despite knowing they would get slaughtered in the press and it was the right move.

  • Gonzo

    Finally someone to take over for Mo.

    Not really. Someone to get Mo Gatorade. Not really.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      He’d probably rip out his shoulder simply picking up the Gatorade bottle.

      • Gonzo

        Ha. That reminds me of the SnL skit of the Steroids Olympics.

        • FIPster Doofus

          So the regular Olympics?

  • http://www.123blawg.blogspot.com LawStudent

    Eh, no harm in getting him. Pretty much buying a lottery ticket. In a (a lot) chance you win!

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    I like it.

  • Hughesus Christo

    Can’t hurt, but won’t help either. It’s a lot more interesting than Kei Igawa!

    Some (99%) people just don’t have the durability for pro sports on a genetic level.

  • peteypabs

    Nothing wrong with giving him a minor league deal. especially if he reverts to anything close to what he once was

  • AnthonyMichael

    MiL contract can’t hurt. They guy has worked with Rothchild before.

  • AnthonyMichael


  • Pat D

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    That’s right. His career is history.

    The first thought that leaps to mind for me is “Why bother?”

    • FIPster Doofus

      Why not? No harm done in signing him to a minor league deal and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.

      • Pat D

        Waste of time. Not my time, so I guess I don’t care. Just doesn’t seem like it’s a remote possibility.

        • FIPster Doofus

          It most likely is a waste of time. You never know, though. He’ll be cheap, so the Yanks might as well take a flyer.

        • Ted Nelson

          Most all failed major league starters you can sign to a minor league deal in what should be their prime seasons are going to be wastes of time ultimately… The difference with Prior is that he has a legitimate chance to be very good in some capacity.

  • Yankeefan91 Arod Fan

    Is He ready to pitch ?

  • Plank

    Every minor league roster has players with no chance of contributing in the majors. Any time one of these roster fillers is someone vaguely interesting (or at least someone I’ve hear of) I love it.

    Even if he’s throwing 78 mph gas in Scranton, that will make me happy. As long as he’s not taking playing time away from actual prospects.

  • candyforstalin

    wood, harden and prior. the rheumatic brigade.

  • bonestock94

    I hope they get him.

  • Michael Kay but not THE

    its worth a shot right? Its not like they have to sign him to a disastrous contract and forfeit postseason eligibility or anything. Guy heads to Scranton, either pitches his way to a respectable bullpen career with the Yankees or he bombs and heads home to swim in his pool of money Scrooge McDuck style.

  • Wayne

    Here’s the test the Yankees should employ before they give Prior a minor league deal:

    !. Blindfold Kei Igawa.

    2. Give Prior three pitches to knock Igawa’s worthless ass back to Japan.

    3. Then give Prior a minor league deal as a set-up man.

    SERIOSLY, though, does anyone have any realiable information on how hard Prior has thron recently?

    If he’s been clocked in the 90-92 range (unlikely, I’m guessing), then there’s a chance he could continue to improve to the 93-94+ range, which would make him a viable and cheap set-up man.

    So what’s the word on his fastball times recently ? I’m guessing in the mid-80s, but that’s just a guess after what he’s been through physically.

    • camilo Gerardo

      blindfold him and then put a gagged kei 2 ft away before he pitches, blood diamond style

      prior’s right of passage in a way

  • Sam

    He can’t possibly still have options left, can he?

    • Plank

      No, but that would only apply to a major league contract. There is no way he gets that from anyone.

    • Wayne

      I may be wrong, but I think we still owe him one more year of Yankee workless welfare.

      • Plank

        Do you mean Prior or Igawa?

        • Wayne

          I meant Igawa, but I realized after I posted that you were talking about Prior. I’m not entirely sure now which one Sam writing about. I believe he was ralking about Kei, since Sam mentioned options.

          Kei is done, but the Yankees still owe him $4 million dollars in “2011 payroll obligations for former players,” according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts page for the Yankees.

  • Wayne

    The more I think about the above suggestion, the more I think we should expand upon it:

    1. Make every pitcher we’re interested in (professionals or otherwise) take the same test.

    2. Make every outfield candidate/prospect take the same test to test their arms strength.

    3. Make every infielder and catching candidate/prospect to the same test.

    4. Ah, hell let’s give the concession guys a shot at him, too.

    PS: Just in case Mrs. Lee reads this website, all of the above was meant sarcastically.

    Like all Yankee fans, I just hate the fact that this worthless pitcher potentially cost us some other player who might have actually won us three or four games in about a four-year period. What a waste of millions!

  • Bo

    Is Todd Van Poppel available?

    • Plank

      I wish there was a senior league in baseball like the Senior PGA tour. I would love to see Van Poppel trying to strike out Rickey with Mo Vaughn on second base.


  • Ted Nelson

    “There’s no such thing as a bad minor league contract, but sheesh.”

    We’ll have to see what kind of money he gets, but I don’t see how you can hint at this being a bad minor league contract Mike… Most minor league contracts are going to yield you little or nothing at the major league level. In Prior’s case there is at least a chance of getting top level stuff in some capacity for some duration of time in the major leagues. You can still have a bunch of healthy pitchers you know will stink on your AAA roster, so I don’t see too much harm in one unhealthy guy who could be lights out if he’s healthy.

    You don’t want to take too many of these gambles, but I think on one or two guys this is a great use of a minor league contract.