Mark Prior and his hometown San Diego Padres agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract yesterday, making him the second postoperative pitcher to join the team in less than a month.
Earlier this month, the Padres agreed to a one-year deal with former Phillies lefthander Randy Wolf, who is coming off shoulder surgery in September.
Prior missed the 2007 season after undergoing right shoulder surgery on April 24. He last pitched for the Chicago Cubs in 2006, when he made nine starts and went 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA.
The 27-year-old righthander, who was 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 2003, can earn another $4.5 million in performance bonuses.
Prior was the second pick in the June 2001 draft, out of Southern California. He is 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA in five big-league seasons. He became a free agent when the Cubs declined to offer him a contract before the Dec. 13 deadline.
If healthy, Prior could join a deep Padres rotation that includes NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, 347-game winner Greg Maddux, and 6-foot-10 righthander Chris Young (3.12 ERA).
Roger Clemens' lawyers are investigating accusations in the Mitchell Report that say the righthander used steroids and human growth hormone.
Clemens was the biggest name in this month's report by former Senate majority leader George Mitchell. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has repeatedly denied using steroids or HGH.