Reds sign Prior to minor-league deal

Former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior will continue his long comeback from shoulder surgery.

Prior signed a minor-league deal with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. The deal does not include an invite to major-league camp.

"It's always good to be affiliated with somebody, no matter if the status is Major or Minor League," said Prior in an interview with "I have to prove that I can pitch and win a job. I know the road ahead of me, but it's an opportunity. You don't know how many more you're going to get."

Prior has not pitched at the major-league level since 2006 with the Cubs. He underwent reconstructive shoulder surgery in 2007 and didn't pitch for three years.

Last season, he pitched for Pawtucket, the Red Sox's Triple-A organization. In 19 games, he went 1-0 with a 3.96 ERA and 38 strikeouts over 25 innings.

The 32-year-old pitcher was given an opportunity, thanks to manager Dusty Baker, who asked general manager Walt Jocketty to sign him. Baker worked with Prior in Chicago from 2003-06, but has been blamed by Cubs fans for overusing him and ruining his career.

"I have an open and good relationship with Dusty. I hold no ill will against him," said Prior. "By no means do I think it was his fault with how my career has gone, it's no one's fault. I had a good career, I've enjoyed my time playing baseball, I don't feel like I'm done and I still feel like I can make a difference.