Why can't Matt Murton find a job?

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Yesterday the Rockies became the third team in two years to give up on outfielder Matt Murton, designating him for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for washed-up reliever Juan Rincon and his 5.45 ERA over the past three seasons.
Murton turns 28 years old in a couple months, but has gotten more than 275 plate appearances in a season exactly once, back in 2006 with the Cubs. He hit .297 with a .365 on-base percentage and .444 slugging percentage that year, yet in the three seasons since then he’s received a grand total of 383 plate appearances for three different teams.
Given all the bouncing around that he’s done recently you might assume that Murton is pretty useless, but that’s hardly the case. He’s a career .287/.353/.438 hitter in 339 games as a major leaguer, has hit .312/.388/.469 in 220 games at Triple-A, and grades out as an asset defensively in either outfield corner according to Ultimate Zone Rating.
He’s certainly never going to be a star or perhaps even a strong everyday player, but Murton is better and more useful than dozens of guys who’ve had permanent homes on MLB rosters for the past few seasons and would make an excellent platoon starter against left-handed pitching if given an extended opportunity.
Against southpaws he’s batted .306/.374/.483 in 390 plate appearances in the majors and .335/.410/.536 in 400 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, which alone makes him worthy of a roster spot. Toss in the fact that he’s still relatively young, very cheap, and available for absolutely nothing, and … well, it’ll be a shame if Murton clears waivers and heads back to Triple-A again.

Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery could share Cubs’ rotation spot in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Mike Montgomery #38 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).

Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.

Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.

Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.

Michael Bourn to miss four weeks with a broken finger

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 6:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles looks out of the dugout as he waits to get on deck to bat during the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 6, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Orioles’ center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be sidelined for four weeks while he rehabs a broken ring finger on his right hand, according to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck. Bourn broke the finger while playing catch with a football after a spring training workout.

The veteran outfielder re-signed with the club earlier this week on a minor league deal and was prepared to compete for a bench role this season. He’s in line to receive a $2 million salary if he makes the major league roster and can make an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on a set number of plate appearances. Now, however, his chances of cracking the roster out of spring training look considerably diminished, as his current timetable gives him an approximate return date of March 25 if all goes well.

Bourn had an impressive, if short-lived run with the Orioles following his trade to Baltimore last August, batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and a .793 OPS in 55 PA. While still somewhat removed from the totals that brought him an All-Star nod with the Braves in 2012, his defensive chops should give the Orioles some depth in center once he’s healthy again.