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Mark Prior signs minor league deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mark Prior, the one-time No. 2 pick overall of the Cubs in 2001 and the guy that has battled numerous shoulder injuries, is now a Ranger.

Well, he's a Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. And Rangers officials say this is more about his long-term prospects and not adding an arm for the last few weeks of the season.

Prior has been pitching in independent ball for the Orange County Flyers since Aug. 3. He has allowed one earned run over nine relief appearances (11 innings) with 22 strikeouts and five walks.

Prior, who turns 30 on Tuesday, had a 42-29 record and a 3.51 ERA in 106 games with the Cubs from 2002-06. He went to San Diego after that, but he never played because of injury issues. He had arthroscopic surgery in his right shoulder in April 2007, but started the 2008 season on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. He had surgery again on the shoulder in June 2008.Prior went through rehab for parts of the next two seasons with the Padres before he was released last August.

BTW, here's a great story on Prior in the New York Times.