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Yankees Plan B: Sign Mark Prior – SportsUntapped.com
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Added December 16th, 2010 by Chalk

Yankees Plan B: Sign Mark Prior
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The New York Yankees, so recently spurned by the best free agent pitcher available when Cliff Lee took $30 million less to play in the City of Brotherly Love rather than the hate and refuse-filled Bronx, agreed to terms with another former All-Star pitcher. Wednesday, the Yankees announced they had signed former Cubs ace Mark Prior to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training.

While Prior is two years younger than Lee, he does have the obvious drawback of not having pitched in the Majors since 2006. But after shoulder surgeries in 2007 and 2008, he actually pitched competitively last season. Fine, he only made nine relief appearances in the independent Golden League, but he pitched well enough for the Texas Rangers to sign him and let him throw one inning of relief for their AAA team in September.

The Yankees have Prior penciled in as their No. 3 starter, although he could fall back to No. 4 if Andy Pettitte decides he’d like to come back for another year.

Prior was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft, then in 2003 was an All-Star and 18-game winner. The Yankees already had some success with another former Cubs phenom turned cautionary tale; last season they got some decent-ish setup work from Kerry Wood in the second half. Wood is also currently a free agent.

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