Red Sox sign Mark Prior

Oft-injured pitcher Mark Prior has been given another shot to get himself back to the majors.'s Jon Heyman has learned that the Red Sox have signed Prior. He'll work to build up arm strength in extended spring training before the next course of action is decided.

We all know the story of Prior by now. He was the second overall draft pick (after Joe Mauer) in the 2001 MLB Draft. By 2003, he was finishing third in Cy Young voting and leading the Cubs into the NLCS. He went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP and 245 strikeouts in 211 1/3 innings that season. He battled injuries the next two seasons, but still made 21 starts in 2004 and 27 starts in 2005. But after going 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA in 2006, arm injuries derailed his career, seemingly for good.

In all, to this point, he threw in parts of five season for the Cubs, going 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 757 strikeouts in 657 innings. He also had a sparkling 2.31 ERA in 23 1/3 postseason innings. Since 2006, however, he's only thrown 24 minor-league innings and just two innings at the Triple-A level.

Prior has made numerous comeback attempts, including with the Rangers, Padres and Yankees. Now add the Red Sox to the mix.

There's still no reason to completely rule out a return to the majors, because Prior is only 31 years old. Still, the injury history makes it a long shot.

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