While one era begins, one era ends for the Chicago Cubs. According to reports in the Chicago Tribune and on WGN Radio, the Cubs have officially non-tendered Mark Prior, making their one-time ace a free agent. Mark Prior rose to prominence during the 2003 season but injuries have detoured the once prized pitching prospect. Prior missed a majority of the 2006 season and was demoted after Spring Training last year before having season ending shoulder surgery in April. Prior was not happy with his demotion and referred to himself as “an employee.” The Cubs reportedly offered a 1-year deal with an option for the 2009 season that Prior was unwilling to sign. According to several reports Jim Hendry had been shopping Prior this off-season in attempts to get something in return for Prior instead of allowing him to leave without any compensation.
Teams will likely lineup to sign Mark Prior and take the risk he will return to his previous form. The Padres were rumored to be very interested in Prior, as well as Dusty’s Redlegs….Prior should not have a problem finding a new organization.
Mark Prior is a very talented pitcher that is capable of dominating a game, when healthy. One thing is definite, the Cubs will no longer be dependant on the health of Mark Prior.