Cubs Part Ways With Prior

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 13, 2007 2:59PM

2007_03_sports_mark_prior.jpgThe Mark Prior Era is over in Chicago.

The Cubs finally gave up on the one-time budding superstar on Wednesday -- the deadline for offering salary arbitration to eligible players--making Prior officially a free agent. Unable to reach an incentive-laden, one-year contract or to find a trading partner, the Cubs chose to non-tender Prior rather than risk overpaying for an injured pitcher.

Are we surprised? Chicagoist did predict back in April that we'd never see Prior back at Wrigley in a Cubs uniform. Guess we were correct afterall...

We tend to think he'll never become the pitcher his early promise suggested, but that doesn't mean that some team won't gamble on him. His 2003 stats -- 18-6 record, 245 strikeouts and a 2.43 ERA -- made him look like a can't-miss phenom. But he missed most of the past four seasons due to a string of injuries. Even so, with an overall 42-29 record and 3.51 ERA, some team will hope he can leave the stints on the DL behind and become an effective starting pitcher again. Will that team's general manager look like a genius or a fool? Time will tell.

Image via MLB.com