Every now and then, you wake up to a news story that starts your day off right.
Today is one of those days, and Matt Murton is one of those stories.
Google Translate does a really shitty job of converting this article into English, but the general gist is that The Thunder has signed a minor league deal with the Cubs.
Murton was a fan favorite on the Cubs teams in the mid/late 2000’s. From 2005 to 2007, he slashed .296/.365/.455 in 929 plate appearances, before being traded to the A’s in the Rich Harden deal in 2008 (Also traded away in that deal, reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson. Fuck you Jim Hendry).
After bouncing around between the A’s and Rockies in ’08 and ’09, he landed with the Hanshin Tigers and put up a slash line of .310/.354/.438 in 3601 plate appearances from 2010-2015. In 2010, he set the single season record in Japan for hits with 214, breaking Ichiro’s record. I’m not sure if Murton still holds that record, maybe Ren can jump in with some extra details about The Thunder’s time in Japan…
Obviously the team is structured a bit differently than it was a decade ago, but I’d LOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEEE to see Murton win a backup OF job in Spring Training. The on-base skills certainly seem to be intact and while he was never exactly known as a defensive specialist, he’s probably better with the glove in LF than Schwarber is.