Matt Murton, of the Colorado Rockies, was DFA’d on Wednesday so that the Rox could make room for reliever Juan Rincon. Murton is an interesting player—he hit .321/.388/.489 in 86 minor-league games this season—and one that I’ve written about before.
Prior to joining the Rockies this year, Murton was with the Cubs and was perpetually blocked from joining the Chicago OF on a full-time basis (they had Soriano and had signed Fukudome). Murton was then shipped over to the A’s in the deal for Rich Harden. At that point, I thought there was hope for the skilled young outfielder and maybe, just maybe, he’d finally get to play on a regular basis. That was not the case, though, as Rockies then acquired Murton early this year in exchange for an IF prospect and have kept him in Triple-A for most of the year (he has been blocked by a number of other players).
Last July, I wrote that the Yankees should trade for Murton (from the Cubs) so that he may man right once Bobby Abreu exited New York. He’s a contact hitter that gets on base and can play solid defense (if not above average, then average). He seemed like the type of player the Yankees were talking about when we heard that they wanted to get “younger” and become “more athletic.” Of course, after writing that piece, literally 2 hours later Murton was traded to Oakland.
Now that Murton has been DFA’d and is available on waivers (irrevocable waivers), I think it would make sense for the Yankees to throw their hat in the ring and attempt to acquire him. Next year, assuming that they let Hideki Matsui walk and bring back Johnny Damon, Murton—a righty—could be a useful bat that mans LF on occasion or even on a regular basis while Johnny Damon splits time between LF and the DH role. He’s a good enough player to help the team with its depth issues if they actually do decide to use the DH spot as a rotating resting chair for its aging veterans.
As R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs notes, “Matt Murton has major league baseball player talent, some team should give him the label, jersey, and roster spot and reap the benefits.” Given the flexibility and skill set that Murton ultimately provides, I think that the Yankees should be that team. Murton could stick as a regular and, at worst, he’s a useful bench player that can help the team battle lefties in 2010 (or, I believe, he can remain in Triple-A).
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