I agree that Prior could easily end up on the DL again. He is expected to debut in mid-to-late May, and it would not surprise me if that date moved back. However, as HasteTheDay said, everyone is down on Prior this year, so his ADP is in the toilet. Fantasy owners have a tendency to undervalue players who burned them in previous seasons, and Prior has burned almost everyone in fantasy baseball at some point since 2004.
Without considering anything else, the move to Petco warrants a look at Prior. Plus, his one-year contract, which guarantees only $1M base salary and ties the remaining $2M to incentives, gives him good reason to perform. Even if he is hurting, he will power through this make-or-break year.
We do not know whether a post-surgery Prior can finally return to top form, but there is reason to hope. From what I understand, his April 2007 shoulder surgery included debridement (removal of dead tissue) of the rotator cuff and labrum (cartilage) repair. I am not a medical professional, but I have read that the former may have resolved the underlying cause for his chronic shoulder woes. One of the biggest risks is that tendons will heal improperly and require additional surgeries, but I have seen no reports of this problem with Prior. He is getting over a year to conduct a cautious, thorough recovery, and he is finally out of the Chicago media market that so frequently mocked his injury problems.
Especially if your league has DL spots or a deep bench, I think he is worth a late-round pick. The starters selected near Prior in the latest Cafe mock were the easily replaceable Randy Wolf
(SD) and Shaun Marcum
(TOR). In that company, I have no trouble justifying a flier on Prior.