Prior voids contract, becomes eligible for arbitration

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior voided the final year of
his contract, making him eligible for salary arbitration.

The right-hander's agent, John Boggs, said Wednesday that Prior
notified the team of his decision on Nov. 29.

Prior's deal, agreed to in 2001 after he was drafted, allowed
him to void the contract after 2004 or 2005, but only if he had
accumulated enough service time to be eligible for arbitration. He
just missed having enough service time after 2004.

His first contract had called for a $2.75 million salary next
year, and he will earn far more because of arbitration.

Prior went 11-7 in 2005, posting a 3.67 ERA. The 25-year-old had 188 strikeouts against 59 walks in 167.2 innings of work. Prior has only topped the 200-inning mark once in his career, and that was in 2003.