Prior signs minor-league deal with Reds

Prior signs minor-league deal with Reds
March 1, 2013, 4:00 pm
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It's been seven years since Mark Prior last pitched in the major leagues, but the ex-Cubs ace is still on the comeback trail.

The Reds reportedly signed Prior to a minor-league deal Friday, giving him a chance to reunite with Dusty Baker, who managed the right-hander for four of his five major-league seasons.

Dealing with a slew of injuries, Prior was out of baseball from 2007-2009 and resurfaced with an independent league team in 2010. He later pitched in one game for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate that year, and then appeared in 11 minor-league games with the Yankees in 2011 and 19 games with Boston's Triple-A squad in 2012.

[Related: Cubs showing the next Mark Prior and Kerry Wood what it takes]

In early February,'s David Kaplan reported Prior was seeking another shot at a comeback, and Josh Boggs -- his agent -- said his fastball velocity was around 92-93 mph.

"He wants one more chance to prove he can pitch in the big leagues," Boggs said. "He just wants an opportunity. If he can't do it, he can't do it, but he wants one more chance."

In 106 starts spanning five seasons with the Cubs, Prior had a 3.51 ERA with 757 strikeouts, 223 walks and 77 home runs allowed over 657 innings. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft also started three games in the 2003 playoffs, posting a 2.31 ERA with 18 strikeouts, nine walks and two home runs allowed in 21 1/3 innings.