Boston Red Sox Are Set to Sign Free Agent Pitcher Mark Prior

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIMay 2, 2012

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 14:  Starting pitcher Mark Prior #22 of the Chicago Cubs throws against the Florida Marlins during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series October 14, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox are making some noise this week, that's for sure.

According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, the Boston Red Sox are set to offer Mark Prior a contract that will result in the pitcher reporting to Fort Meyers to build up arm strength.

Suffice to say, arm strength is a bit of a concern considering Prior has not pitched since 2006.

The 31-year-old right hander has five years of service under his belt, pitching for the Chicago Cubs from 2002 through 2006 and does own a winning record of 42-29. His best season coming in 2003 where he finished third overall in Cy Young voting, going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 1.103 WHIP in 211.1 innings of work.

While the closest he ever came to matching that same success came in 2005, his 11-7 record fell short of the "ace" material that many believed him to possess.

Then came the injuries.

A series of shoulder injuries hampered his return to the Majors, though he has thrown innings for both the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees in the Minor Leagues, throwing exactly 12 innings in each 2010 and 2011 season.

With the pitching staff seemingly fragile, this move seems somewhat questionable for the Red Sox. While they already have their fair share of injury prone hurlers, they've decided to add depth with a low risk/high reward hopeful in Prior.

I shake my head just thinking about it.

Whatsoever funds are going to be allocated for Prior should be spent upping the ante to acquire a pitcher like Roy Oswalt whom has at least managed to pitch 350.2 innings over the course of the past two seasons, not 24 innings.

That being said, this move comes on the heels of the news that pitcher Josh Beckett will miss his next start and Aaron Cook will replace him in the lineup.

Things are a bit messy for the pitching staff. I'm sure there is a plan in place on Yawkey Way, I'm just not so sure I see it yet.