Monday, March 14, 2005

Prior problems 

Bad news for Cubs fans...Mark Prior is hurt.

He's having stiffness in his elbow, and is out "indefinitely". Kerry Wood is also on the shelf right now, with shoulder problems.

The Prior situation has to be alarming for the Cubs...he had elbow problems on a couple of different occasions last season, and this could be an indicator of a torn elbow ligament, which would require Tommy John surgery and knock Prior out until probably the All-Star Break of 2006.

If Prior is going to have T-J surgery, the Cubs would probably be best served optioning him to the minors...he has at least one option remaining, and by doing that, they'd avoid having Prior accrue a full season of service time while sitting on the D.L., and would delay his becoming a free agent for another season.

That said, T-J surgery would be a disaster for the Cubs' playoff hopes, particularly if Wood is also going to miss significant time. It would also hurt the Rangers' chances of moving Soriano to the Cubs, since, if they are missing Prior and Wood for much of 2005, they aren't likely to want to give up much for one season of Soriano.

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