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Padres Add Prior, Burke

Padres sign Mark Prior and Chris Burke (minor league deals)

Prior is baseball’s version of Prometheus. No matter how many times he attempts to come back, it seems like that darn eagle will scoop in and eat his Achilles tendon or an arm ligament. Unbelievably, Prior hasn’t thrown a pitch in a regular season game – majors or minors – in two full years. It’s easy to talk about “When Prior is healthy…” but he never is. Regardless, if he somehow does stay healthy, the only data we can go off is two seasons old and doesn’t reflect well on him anyways. CHONE says 54 innings and a 4.87 FIP, the Padres would be lucky to get that. I always like to reflect on how special Prior’s 2003 season was when writing about him: 211.3 innings, 245 strikeouts, only 2.13 walks per nine, and a 2.47 FIP – that’s good for 6.8 wins. Tim Lincecum’s 2008 was worth 7.1 wins. That should give you an idea of just how special Prior was and had the chance to be.

Dave covered Burke in more depth following his non-tendering, but in simple terms: Burke’s a potentially valuable player who’s ran into some poor luck and a lack of chances over the years. At his best, Burke is a 0.75-1 win player. His defensive versatility – especially in left and at second – is a plus for keeping him. It’s a bit odd that the Padres are the ones making this move unless they have the intent of starting him at some point.

Pirates sign Craig Monroe (minor league deal)

The Pirates were reportedly right in the Rocco Baldelli sweepstakes until the end, so it makes sense that they promptly jump on Monroe after losing out. Monroe is basically what you think he is: an okay fielding corner outfielder who hits for power against lefties. Like Baldelli, Monroe doesn’t walk much and tends to go out of the strike zone quite a bit. It’s a minor league deal, and the Pirates seem unlikely to use him in a starting capacity barring a disaster.