WHERE WILL MURTON END UP?
The days of Matt Murton as a Cub are nearing an end. “We like Matt a lot, and I think on a lot of clubs he’s an every-day player in left field,” GM Jim Hendry said. “We’re just in a spot where on the corners we have two outstanding players, and we needed somebody like Reed Johnson who could play some in center.
“Matt knows his situation. First-class guy. We’ll try to do what’s best for the Cubs and Matt as we proceed forward.”
So where will/should Murton end up? Some thoughts:
The White Sox. There is major uncertainty with 3 of the Sox outfielders: Jerry Owens, Brian Anderson and Carlos Quentin. All 3 are unproven and 2 are battling injuries. My guess is Alexi Ramirez ends up as the starter at 2nd Base. The Sox may need a corner outfielder in short order. Murton could fill that need.
The Padres. Their outfield currently consists of Jim Edmonds, Scott Hairston and Brian Giles. Giles and Edmonds are no longer durable, nor very good. They have Jody Gerut and Justin Huber as backups. Murton would be a starter there.
The Braves. Matt Diaz is getting the call in leftfield for Bobby Cox. He has put together 2 nice seasons, but I know Cox likes guys that work the count and Diaz does not.
The Indians. The Tribe is slated to open up with Dave Dellucci and Franklin Gutierrez in their corner outfield spots. Murton is likely better than both of them.
The Mariners. Brad Wilkerson is set to be their starter in right. He’s not an everyday player and he whiffs at an enormous rate. Last year he whiffed 107 times in just 338 ABs. He bats lefty so there could at least be a platoon there for Murton. In the meantime Wilkerson will keep working on becoming the left-handed Rob Deer.
The Rays. With Baldelli out yet again and Cliff Floyd as a starter, chances are Murton could be a valuable player for the Rays.
[tags]Matt Murton, Chicago Cubs[/tags]