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Winter of trade talk doesn't trouble Prior

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  • Winter of trade talk doesn't trouble Prior

    January 14, 2006

    BY MIKE KILEY Staff Reporter

    Anyone expecting Mark Prior to come to the Cubs Convention on Friday ripping and slashing at general manager Jim Hendry was sorely disappointed.

    Prior, as usual, refused to court controversy and was even understanding about his name being bounced around in talks about a multiplayer deal with Baltimore that centered on Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada.

    Prior was asked if he were mad at the Cubs and whether he perceived that they were trying to dump him. Prior said he anticipates he will talk with Hendry this weekend about the highly publicized situation and said he has no lingering resentment. Hendry has stressed that Baltimore asked for Prior and that he didn't bring up the name in attempts to get rid of his right-handed starter.

    "From everything I heard, they weren't necessarily dangling me out there and trying to so-called 'get rid of me,''' Prior said. "I can see it from Baltimore's standpoint. Their player wants to be traded, and they need pitching.

    "Jim wants a shortstop, so it would make sense. [The Orioles] aren't going to want guys in A-ball and Double-A. They want guys ready to pitch. If they are going to request me, and if it's an honest negotiation, that's part of the business.

    "Now, if they are just trying to trade me, then I would hope somebody would be honest and tell me that. But I don't think that's the case. Fortunately, it wasn't something that was too serious. It was Rumorville. I have never been [ticked] off or anything. If anything was going to be done, I felt somebody would have called and said something.''

    Prior gave no credence to media speculation that he could jump ship once he becomes a free agent.

    "I love playing in Chicago, and I love being here,'' he said. "I have no desire to leave. I was fortunate to fall here out of college [in the amateur draft]. I love watching the Bears and Bulls. It's a great town to play baseball in. I don't think there's any other town as good as Chicago that offers all aspects of life.''

    Prior is seeking to put his right-elbow challenges behind him.

    "I've tried this offseason to correct some habits I fell into because of what happened with my elbow,'' he said. "One thing I have reflected on is how valuable time is when you're healthy. At any moment anything can happen. It's a fragile existence.

    "I still have a little bit of bruising still there. If I bang it, walk into a door here and there, I occasionally notice it. But it seems fine. I haven't done a whole lot, but I haven't had any problems. But I haven't been doing anything that would test it that much. I haven't been shooting hoops.''

    Prior believes the acquisitions of outfielders Juan Pierre and Jacque Jones, and the additions of relievers Bob Howry and Scott Eyre, will have strong impact throughout the team.

    "We've got a good club,'' he said. "Jim wanted to solidify center field and leadoff. To be able to do that with one guy in Pierre makes it easier. Jacque will go out there and play great defense, and like he said, he's going to be hopefully benefitted by playing here vs. the [Metrodome].

    "And Jim's done a good job with the bullpen. That will have some other guys in the bullpen in a more comfortable situation where they can thrive more. Because of some uncertainties, guys not used to jobs, you have seen some guys go through up-and-downs. Sometimes that's just not being comfortable with your role.''

    Prior said filing for salary arbitration this year was simply a matter of business.

    "It was just kind of a given,'' he said. "It was just part of the deal. It's not like I can opt out and become a free agent. It was nothing where I consciously thought, 'Should I do it or not?' It was just written in the contract.''

  • #2
    Prior's New Contract

    With Prior's new contact is he a free-agent at the end of this season?


    • #3
      Originally posted by Uncle Dak
      With Prior's new contact is he a free-agent at the end of this season?
      no. he's property until after 2008. He's arbitration elgible for the remaining years.


      • #4
        Originally posted by rockin500
        no. he's property until after 2008. He's arbitration elgible for the remaining years.
        Thanks for the info.


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