Murton and Other Notes

Two quick notes from Gordon Wittenmeyer...

The Cubs are getting enough interest from other teams in outfielder
Matt Murton that a deal might get done by the end of the weekend to
keep the Cubs from having to send the .296 career hitter to the minors.

They're just making sure no injuries occur today and Murton will most likely be out of here.

The battle between lefties Sean Marshall and Carmen Pignatiello for Eyre's vacated spot is going down to the final day.

Manager Lou Piniella said before Friday's late game that each lefty
would get an inning of work during the two-game set against Seattle.

It seems Lou really want to give Marshall every chance to win that spot, even though Pignatiello has easily outperformed him this spring.

Comments

from the Astros...

and an AZ Phil question...

If the Phillies decide to dump Lahey, does he go back through the whole waiver process or just starting from the teams that didn't get a chance to claim him? Can the Cubs put a claim in?ย 

If I recall this correctly, Phils were near the bottom of the order but it goes NL first, than AL? Are there a few teams below the Phils that could still grab him?ย 

Some how i got linked to MLB Trade Rumors (which i refuse to ever visit) and picked up what some of the other blogs were saying about Murton.

The gist....is an outstanding hitter, good power, excellent speed on the basepaths.

You go to Cubs blogs and he isn't that good of a hitter, has no power, and can't run the bases. Basically he is worthless junk.

I hope he finds a new home where he can play everyday.

All true. I don't know what the Cubs are thinking. Thanks to his ability to get on base and run, Murton was an outstanding run-scorer. Much better at it than Juan Pierre for example. You can look it up.

We're a weaker team now without him. Our problem last year was scoring runs.

Ohh and the Astro's are going to pay Woody $6.5 million to not pitch for them. Smart move...

I agree that Murton is a nice player, but where does he fit in with the Cubs? Nowhere.

I'm fine with trading him as long as we get something valuable in return.

...which is unusual if a deal is in the works.

it's only unusual if a deal has been finalized...

Trading Murton only makes sense if you think that Fukudome and Soriano are immune to injury or some other GM makes Hendry a very strong offer for Murton. I suspect we'll need a fill-in corner outfielder for at least a month of this season due to injuries, and I'm not yet convinced that Fukudome's game is going to translate into what Cubs fans are hoping for.

With 600 plate appearances you can reasonably expect these things: an average around .300, an OBP over .360, 20ish homeruns, flashes of exciting opposite field power and a frustrating ground ball rate. You can also expect well above average defense in left field, according to The Hardball Times, and quickness out of the box if not a great speed on the base paths.

Murt has great potential and is already a strong ball player. The Cubs' major mistake is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on two corner outfielders who will block a young, cheap, productive player. Murton may not outperform Soriano or Fukudome overall, but the difference between them may not add up to the improvement the team could have made spending those millions of dollars or something other than another outfielder. Then again, Murton may outperform Soriano in batting average and OBP, something you look for in a top of the order hitter, and likely will outperform Fukudome in average and power, something you look for in a number 5 hitter.

I think you're being overly optimistic about Fukudome. I've said this before in another thread, look at what Iwamura did in his final three seasons in Japan and then what he did in his first season with Tampa. His stats in Japan were extremely close to Fukudome's, and people projected him to hit somewhere near 20 homers last season. He hit 7.

His slugging numbers dropped approx 150 points from his previous 3 years.

Fukudome's line this year is probably going to be more like .285 or less, 8-10 hr's, and if he's hitting second 50'rbi's or less. His obp probably drops to .340ish. An ok number two hitter but not an impact bat.

Unless he's been dogging it all spring on purpose, his power numbers in the majors will be way down.

As for Murton, he's a poor fielder but I love his bat. A guy who has proven he can draw walks, hit around .300, hit a lot of doubles and a fair number of hr's. To trade him or send him to Iowa is a mistake. With the cold Wrigley weather and a ton of home games in April and May, Murton would get plenty of AB's, far more than Fontentot will.

And Reed Johnson was a nice addition to platoon in CF but he's not a particularly good hitter vs rhp's. Murton is.

I think the 300/360 with 20 HR's is his prediction for Murton, not Fuku...

Yeah, that was a prediction for Murton, but my organization was not clear. Whoops.

I totally agree with you on Murton, the problem that I see is Daryl Ward. If not for Ward, Murton would be on the roster. So my question is who do you keep Ward or Murton?

how little Murton is valued by teams trying to acquire him. Apparently the Padres were thinking something like $50,000 including tax out the door. At least that's what this story in the San Diego Union implies.

Attempting to fill a need for right-handed power off the bench and an emergency catcher, the Padres acquired corner outfielder/first baseman Justin Huber from the Royals and optioned utility man Luis Rodriguez to Triple-A. Huber hit 18 home runs in 286 Triple-A at-bats last year. The Australian has batted .204 in 38 major league games with four doubles.
Manager Bud Black said Huber, a catcher early in his professional career, could make it more likely that Black would use either of his other catchers as a pinch hitter. Huber, 25, is out of minor league options.

The Padres are to send $50,000 or a player to the Royals within 30 days. They preferred Cubs corner outfielder Matt Murton but were unwilling to give up a prospect for him.

Well if the team who currently owns him (Murton) doesn't value him enough to keep him on a major league roster, why should the other teams value him more?

Think it shows Hendry (at least for now) won't give up Murt for less than a prospect more than it does SD thinks he's worth 50K including tax...

murt's pretty exclusively a LF'r who's not really flashy there. i'd rather see soriano in RF, murt in LF, and spend the loot elsewhere, but it wasnt and now this situation is here.

it's pretty highly doubtful murt will spend much time in AAA this year for the cubs or whoever he may be traded to.

Submitted by Rob G. on Sat, 03/29/2008 - 10:15am.

and an AZ Phil question... If the Phillies decide to dump Lahey, does he go back through the whole waiver process or just starting from the teams that didn't get a chance to claim him?

Can the Cubs put a claim in?

If I recall this correctly, Phils were near the bottom of the order but it goes NL first, than AL? Are there a few teams below the Phils that could still grab him?

================================

ROB G: If a club decides not to keep a player they acquired via waiver claim and places the player back on waivers, the waiver process starts all over again from scratch. The Cubs could put in a claim, but because Lahey is a Rule 5 player, if they are awarded the claim it would just put the Cubs back in the same position they were in before they placed him on waivers. That is, they would have to keep him on their 25-man roster for the entire 2008 regular season.

If more than one team claims a player off waivers, the club from the same league gets the claim, and if more than one club from the same league makes a claim, the club with the lowest winning percentage gets the claim.

The previous season's standings are used to determine waiver claim order through the end of the waiver period that extends through the 30th day of the regular season (this year that's April 28th), and then starting with the waiver period that commences with the 31st day of the regular season (April 29th in 2008), the current standings are used to determine waiver claim order.

thanks...that's good news then because who knows where the Cubs bullpen will be if he's put on waivers again.

My guess....The 3rd base line

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