After evaluating Prior two weeks ago in Fort Myers, the Red Sox inked the 31-year-old to a minor-league deal on Tuesday. General manager Ben Cherington envisions the right-hander as a potential reliever.
"He looked good, the velocity's been good," Cherington said. "He's coming off a groin procedure this winter, so we're going to leave him down there for a while just to build strength before we send him out to a minor-league club. He signed a minor-league deal and will keep pitching in extended for a while."
From 2002 to 2006, Prior was a staple of the Cubs' rotation, tallying a 42-29 record with a 3.51 ERA and 757 strikeouts. But injuries ?? including Tommy John surgery on his elbow ?? ravaged his career.
Since ending his stint with Chicago in 2006, Prior has bounced around independent ball and the minors, making stops in farm systems with the Padres, the Rangers and, most recently, the Yankees.
Prior's best season came in 2003, when he posted a 18-6 record with 245 strikeouts en route to earning an All-Star nod.
Photo via Facebook/Mark Prior's Curveball