Well Mark Prior went on the DL
yet again yesterday, making his 5th trip to the DL since 2003. What does this have to do with the Yankees? Nothing, unless Brian Cashman makes something of it.
Maybe it's time for Cash to give Cubs' GM Jim Hendry a call and try to persuade him that a change of scenery is needed for Prior. The Yankees had Prior once upon a time, selecting him in the 1st round in 1998 out of his San Diego high school. Prior choose to go to Vanderbilt instead, his Dad's alma mater (how sweet), before eventually transferring to SC.
Two of Prior's 5 trips to the DL have been caused by fluke injuries, as Marcus Giles plowed into him on the bases
in 2003 and Brad Hawpe drilled him with a line drive
in 2005 (Hawpe must not like Prior, because he did the same thing back in college). If it wasn't for the line drive (which was not only fractions of an inch from not only ending his career, but also rendering the joint useless), Prior would have made 31 starts last year, which is more starts than any Yankee not named Randy made.
When he's pitched, Prior has been dominant, owning a career 10.55 Kper9 and 1.19 WHIP. He's 3 starts away from his 100th career start, which is right around where a pitcher's career usually takes off (i.e. the Big Unit
). He's still very young (only 25, won't be 26 until the end of the season) and his stuff is unbelievable. If given the proper time to heal and recover, Prior should finally be 100%, but the problem is the Cubs have been too aggressive with bring him back.
Well what would it take to nab Prior? Alot probably, but Hendry could be haggled down a bit considering Prior's injury-riddled history. The Cubbies would almost certainly want a pitcher that could step right into the rotation and give them innings, and the obvious name is Chien-Ming Wang (injury prone himself). Wang is actually older than Prior (by a little more than 4 months) and has alot less miles on his arm. The other possibility is Carl Pavano, who up until last year has been durable during his career.
What would the final package look like? I dunno, but Prior won't come cheap. Maybe Wang, Pavano and Eric Duncan for Prior and a prospect (perhaps Brian Dopirak
- the right handed version of Duncan). What it boils down to is that if Prior returns to even 80% of his normal self, he's still better than Wang and/or Pavano. He'd anchor the rotation for years to come, joining Phil Hughes in a potentially devastating 1-2 punch from 2009 to about 2019.
The chances of such a trade? Slim to none, but it sure is fun to dream.
FYI - Baseball Analysts previews the AL East
round table-style. Don't miss it.