Ex-Cubs pitcher Mark Prior retires, pursues front office post

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Right-handed pitcher Mark Prior has announced his retirement from playing after seven years of attempting a comeback from injury and is now setting his sights on a front office job.

The oft-injured Prior went on the disabled list in April with a shoulder injury while with the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Louisville and was released in June.

Prior, 33, was considered one of the best pitching prospects ever and had near-perfect mechanics.

He was taken with the second overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Chicago Cubs and made his professional debut in Double A in 2002 at the age of 21 and made just nine starts in the minors before making his major league debut on May 22 of that year.

He averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, ranking second only to Randy Johnson among pitchers with at least 500 innings.

After undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery in 2006, Prior hasn’t pitched in the majors.

He attempted comebacks with the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the Reds over the last seven years.

Prior finishes his career with a 42-29 record, a 3.51 ERA and 757 strikeouts in the majors. He finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2003 after going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts with the Cubs.

He identified the San Diego Padres as a possible destination for a front office position.

“I’ve had some ongoing conversations with Josh [Byrnes, the Padres' general manager], A.J. [Hinch, assistant GM] and Josh Stein (director of baseball operations) over the past couple months,” Prior revealed.

He also said he has no regrets about moving on after doing everything he could and leaving everything he had physically on the field.

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