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Friday, December 9th, 2016

WHAT TO DO WITH MARK PRIOR

5

Oddly, of late anyway, I find myself in agreement with Phil Rogers. Phil writes today about Cubs fans being nuts to want to get rid of Prior.

I don’t even like looking at Prior much these days, let alone watching him pitch–when he is on the active roster, of course. But Rogers makes solid points.

The best point, in my opinion, is that you will get nothing in return for a HUGE investment. By my rough estimate the Cubs have paid Prior around $22 million. Certainly they have received some return from that. But to then let him go–a 1st round pick–for nothing is the stuff that really bad teams are made of. They sell low and buy high. The Cubs have been guilty of this before. They can’t do it with Prior.

And as much as I think that Prior is soft and/or injury prone, let’s face it–in 2003 he was as fierce as anyone pitching in the game. Whether or not he can harness that ferocity again is yet to be seen. It’s hard to say yes at this point. But at the least you have to get him serviceable on the mound and then trade him. You just have to get something for him.

My main concern is that he will be healthy but then when the slightest thing happens to him he will recoil and return to the softness he has demonstrated.

Rogers writes: “You think two runs in Greg Maddux’s first 20 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers is bad? That’s a smudge on the glass of a window at the Sears Tower compared with the nightmare of watching Prior go somewhere else and succeed.

Getting Prior healthy and back on top of his game has been the first priority for the Cubs since he got drilled in his right elbow by a Brad Hawpe liner in 2005. It remains their most important mission. If they are going to compete again, there’s a better chance of doing it behind Prior and Carlos Zambrano than anyone they could go outside the organization to get.”

And that’s the biggie. It would be so Cubs to get rid of him for nothing and then he goes out and dominates the league. As much as I’d like to part company with Prior, Cubs fans need to give him one more year. I’m not saying full reliance on him to come out and help the Cubs win the title, but at least more time to at least get something in return. And if he happens to come out and be the 2003 version, then great.

  • http://www.timellsworth.com <a href="http://www.timellsworth.com" rel="nofollow">Tim Ellsworth</a>

    Best hitter in baseball? I think Albert Pujols might have something to say about that. Mauer’s great, no doubt, but let’s not go nuts just yet.

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com <a href="http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">The Zoner</a>

    Do you have to make everything about the Cards?? Just kidding.

    Anyway, I agree with you. By best I meant in average only. Pujols hits for power and average, leads the league in OPS and he rarely K’s. He’s a freak.

  • http://www.timellsworth.com <a href="http://www.timellsworth.com" rel="nofollow">Tim Ellsworth</a>

    Yeah, you’re right about the average. I wonder what kind of hitter Mauer will be in five years. Scary.

  • http://www.heavenlyheartburn.blogspot.com <a href="http://www.heavenlyheartburn.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">Gordon Cloud</a>

    Twins gain is FSU’s loss. Mauer was supposed to be our quarterback until he decided to follow a baseball career. Instead, we got stuck with Chris Rix for four years. Thanks Joe.

    I guess I really can’t blame him, though.

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com <a href="http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">The Zoner</a>

    The article mentioned that too. In his senior year he was player of the year in both football and baseball. In football he had 41 TDs and 5 or 7 ints.

    But it’s OK because I’m a Gator fan anyway. Unless FSU is playing the Vols.

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