The Padres signed right-handed starter Mark Prior to a one-year deal, bringing the San Diego native home in the hopes he regains his health and the mound prowess he once showed.
Prior, 27, has struggled with injuries in recent years and missed the entire 2007 season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder April 24. He last pitched in 2006, compiling at 1-6 record and 7.21 ERA in nine starts for the Cubs.
"Mark Prior is a competitor and is working hard to regain the form that made him one of the great young pitchers in the game," Padres GM Kevin Towers said in a club release."We are confident he is going to help us in our rotation this season. It's exciting that Mark is coming home to San Diego to pitch for the Padres."
Over five Major League seasons (2002-06), Prior is 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA in 106 starts covering 657 innings. He has registered 757 strikeouts and 223 walks, while limiting opponents to a .235 batting average.
Prior was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft out of USC, having graduated from University of San Diego High. He made his Major League debut less than a year later, striking out 10 Pirates in six innings for the victory on May 22, 2002. He was an All-Star in 2003.
In his career, Prior has tallied 21 double-digit strikeout games and 65 outings in which he has issued two or fewer walks. He is averaging 10.37 strikeouts per nine innings over his career.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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