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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Ex-Cubs phenom Mark Prior retires

ESPN.com news services

Mark Prior has decided to call it a career, the oft-injured pitcher told reporters at the winter meetings Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Mark Prior, Dusty Baker
Mark Prior averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, ranking second only to Randy Johnson.

The 33-year-old right-hander went on the disabled list in April with a shoulder injury while attempting a comeback with the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate in Louisville. He was released in June.

Prior told multiple media outlets Tuesday that he's interested in a front-office job.

Prior, who grew up near San Diego and lives there now, identified the Padres as a possible destination, according to U-T San Diego.

"I've had some ongoing conversations with Josh [Byrnes, the Padres' general manager], A.J. [Hinch, assistant GM] and Josh Stein (director of baseball operations) over the past couple months," Prior told the newspaper. "Hopefully, next week we can get something finalized. But they've already been gracious to me as far as giving me the opportunity to learn."

Prior told U-T San Diego that the parties have been discussing a "catch-all, do-everything" role in which he'd be introduced to many aspects of the organization.

He also said he is comfortable with his decision to move on.

"I have no regrets. I did everything I could. I left it on the field, gave everything I could to it and came up short. Now I'm on to my second career," he told the newspaper.

Prior, who was taken with the second overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Chicago Cubs, finishes his career with a 42-29 record, a 3.51 ERA and 757 strikeouts in the majors. He finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2003 after going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts with the Cubs.

His ratio of 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings trails only Randy Johnson among pitchers with at least 500 innings.

After undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery in 2006, Prior attempted comebacks with the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the Reds.