Former Cub Matt Murton has been released by the Rockies and his contract sold to the Hanshin Tigers in Japan.
Murton had a couple decent seasons for the Cubs in 2005 and 2006. He joined the Cubs organization in 2004 as part of the trade that brought Nomar Garciaparra to Chicago. There were some that said he was the better part of the trade than the oft-injured Nomar.
In 2005 he hit .321 in 51 games after being called up from AA. In 2006 he led the team with a .297 average. But in 2007, the Cubs got Cliff Floyd to split time with Murton in left. When Soriano flopped in center field and moved to left, Murton got moved out completely and ended up in AAA. The rest of his time with the Cubs from 2007 through 2009 was split between Chicago and Iowa.
He was traded to Oakland in the Rich Harden trade in July, 2008, but played in only 9 games for the A's. They traded him to the Rockies in February, 2009. Once again, Murton spent most of the year in AAA, but he did pretty well, hitting .324.
And now it's off to Japan for Matt Murton. I have a feeling that his bright orange hair might make him stand out among a crowd. Good luck, Matt.
Here's a few of my favorite Matt Murton cards
2006 Heritage - Topps really got this one right, the guy with the orange hair has an orange background! Beautiful!
Topps 2006 - Making a throw
Upper Deck 2006 - Getting dirty
Upper Deck 2007 - Making some kids happy. Well, actually, most of the people in the picture are adults, which is a little creepy. I wonder how many of these things ended up on ebay?
Allen and Ginter 2007 - A classic pose
Turkey Red 2006 - another classic pose, though he didn't do a whole lot of bunting.