Padres add Prior, Burke on minor league deals

Mark Prior

San Diego, CA - The San Diego Padres announced today that they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Mark Prior and infielder Chris Burke on one-year minor league contracts and extended them invitations to Major League Spring Training.

Mark Prior signed with the Padres as a free agent prior to the 2008 season and missed the entire year after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on June 4. The 28-year-old also missed the 2007 season after undergoing surgery on the same shoulder 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.

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.

Chris Burke, 28, played six positions in 2008 including all four infield spots and both corner outfield positions for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He batted .194 (32-for-165) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, 12 RBI, five stolen bases and 20 runs scored in 86 games. Burke was acquired by the Diamondbacks prior to the 2008 season from the Houston Astros.

Originally selected by the Astros in the first round (10th overall) of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Burke owns a career .241 average (286-for-1,185) with 66 doubles, six triples, 22 home runs, 106 RBI, 36 stolen bases and 168 runs scored in 445 games over parts of five Big League seasons with the Astros (2004-07) and Diamondbacks (2008).

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