Padres sign Mark Prior to one-year deal

San Diego, CA - The San Diego Padres announced today that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Mark Prior.

Mark Prior missed the entire 2007 season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on April 24, 2007. His last Major League action came with the Chicago Cubs during the 2006 season, going 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA (35 ER/43.2 IP), 38 strikeouts and 28 walks in nine starts.

"Mark Prior is a competitor and is working hard to regain the form that made him one of the great young pitchers in the game," general manager Kevin Towers said. "We are confident he is going to help us in our rotation this season. It's exciting that Mark is coming home to San Diego to pitch for the Padres."

Over his five-year career, Prior has already tallied 21 double-digit strikeout games compared to 65 outings in which he has issued two or fewer walks. He is averaging 10.37 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched and has recorded a career-high 16 strikeouts on two occasions (6/26/03 vs. MIL and 9/30/04 vs. CIN).

A native San Diegan and graduate of University of San Diego High School, Prior was selected by the Cubs in the first round (second overall) of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Southern California. Over five Major League seasons with the Cubs (2002-06), Prior is 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA (256 ER/657.0 IP), 757 strikeouts and 223 walks, while limiting opponents to a .235 average in 106 starts.

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