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Dodgers hire Mark Prior, former Cubs All Star and USC All-American, as bullpen coach

Dodgers hire Mark Prior, former Cubs All Star and USC All-American, as bullpen coach
Former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior has worked for the Padres' front office the last four seasons. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Mark Prior, a former All-American pitcher at USC and an All-Star for the Chicago Cubs, will be the Dodgers bullpen coach in 2018, according to people familiar with the situation. The organization is expected to announce Prior’s hiring on Wednesday.

Prior will replace Josh Bard, who departed manager Dave Roberts staff after two seasons to become bench coach of the Yankees.

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Prior, a 37-year-old from San Diego, had spent the last four seasons as a member of the Padres' front office. He started as an assistant in the baseball operations department before being promoted to a pitching coordinator.

Drafted second overall out of USC in 2001, Prior reached the majors a year later and emerged as a phenom in 2003. He went 18-6, posted a 2.43 earned-run average and finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting.

Prior could not reach those heights again. Stymied by injuries, he appeared in 57 games during the next three seasons but did not pitch in the majors after 2006. He attempted a series of comebacks, with four organizations, before retiring after the 2013 season.

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