According to a report published by Sanspo on Tuesday morning, extension talks between the Hanshin Tigers and Matt Murton are not going well. The big sticking point is apparently salary: Murton currently makes an estimated 246 million yen and is reportedly asking for over 400 million next season while the Tigers' offer is believed to be somewhere in between 250 and 300 million yen. The organization was expecting a strong push by his agent, but not to the point where there would be such a large gap.
Other issues might also be affecting Murton's decision. Sanspo mentions two examples of his discontent in their report.
- In a game against Chunichi at Nagoya Dome on August 10, Daniel Cabrera threw a pitch behind Murton's back. The two players appeared to settle things in a brief chat after the incident, but things may not have been ok for Murton -- there was no movement in the dugout and he may have wanted a sign that the manager and coaches were looking out for him.
- Being on a popular team, Murton is constantly in the spotlight. That by itself is not a problem, but it is when he gets criticized for dogging on defense and the team does nothing to back him up.
The Tigers may end up comparing Murton to other possible candidates as they leave the lines of communication open. They were already in the market for a corner infielder that could bat fourth. They could simply expand their search to include outfielders.
Source: Sanspo 9/10/2013