No no no
Mark Prior and his agent had the gall to ask for $3.87 million last year when he went 1-6 with a 7.71 ERA. That would have been a raise from the 3.65 million he made last year. Yes, he asked for a raise after going 1-6 with a 7.71 ERA. The Cubs countered with an offer for $3.4 million, a 2% pay cut. Yet today Prior and the Cubs agreed to a 3.575 million dollar contract loaded with incentives. Prior’s new deal includes incentives based on games pitched that could add $300,000 to his base pay. He can earn$150,000 each, based on his making 27 starts and then 30 starts. Prior could also earn $125,000 should he win the Comeback Player of the Year. If he was to have a good season, that’s the award he would get.
The Cubs are saying that Prior is not going to be handed money just for being Prior. If he wants that 6% raise after a god awful year, then he is going to have to earn it. He will have to earn it by playing baseball. What a novel concept. Prior and his agent tried to play chicken with Hendry and Prior and his people blinked. Of course Prior and his agent could have settled this through arbitration, but honestly, how could a judge have sided with Prior. How could you justify a six percent raise when you didn’t even get two victories? The Cubs gave Prior a raise in 2006 after a poor performance in 2005. Not any more.
Now of course if Prior has a phenomenal year, the Cubs have no chance of resigning him. Honestly, it’s better for Prior and the Cubs to part ways. It seems a long way since his 10 strike out debut against the Pittsburg Pirates. I was there and the buzz was electric. I was also there when he pitched one inning to many in game six versus the Florida Marlins. It seems like a million years ago. Prior is not going to be handed the fifth starter spot. He has to beat Wade Miller or Sean Marshall for that spot. If Miller looks better, there is a possibility that Prior may start the season in triple-A.
The Cubs season no longer depends on the health of Wood and Prior. If Prior or Wood contribute anything it will be an added bonus. Now that Prior’s contract is done, it is up to Hendry to get to work on the real buisness at hand;
Signing Carlos Zambrano to a long term contract.