Cubs cut Prior loose
December 12, 2007
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com
The long, winding and mostly frustrating road of Mark Prior's career as a Cub has officially come to an end with the Cubs' decision tonight to non-tender the former 18-game winner, sources said.
Prior, who is rehabbing from shoulder surgery eight months ago, was eligible for arbitration - a process that would have meant a projected salary of about $3.4 million for a pitcher whose health for the season was at least in doubt.
Negotiations on a possible contract that would have called for a lower salary stalled weeks ago over the Cubs' offer and their demand for a club option for 2009 - which would have bought out Prior's first year of free agency.
Facing an 11 p.m. deadline for offering arbitration, and failing in an attempt to trade him for a prospect, the Cubs instead cut loose the former No. 2 overall draft pick, making Prior a free agent.
As to whether the Padres are interested in him:
After gathering medical information on Cubs pitcher Mark Prior, who is coming off shoulder surgery, the Padres have cooled somewhat on the former USDHS star, who would become a free agent today if the Cubs do not tender him a contract.
I expect whatever the Padres saw in the medical report was enough for them to decide not to pursue Mark Prior.