Kyler Murray’s statement released on Monday will not stop the Oakland A’s from continuing to pursue the two-sport star.
Murray announced on Monday that he is committing fully to a future playing football. He is expected to attend the NFL Combine to be evaluated ahead of the draft.
Though Murray — a likely first-round pick — is declaring his choice to pursue football, the A’s will not be deterred.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says Oakland remains motivated to continue trying to get Murray to play baseball. He says the team always told Murray that they are open to him attending the draft and combine to gather as much information as possible. Rosenthal also points out that the A’s can offer Murray a big league contract and top whatever financial offer an NFL team gives him.
Oakland will not receive a compensation pick even if Murray chooses another sport because the Heisman Trophy winner already signed his minor league deal, and compensation picks only go to teams unable to sign their first-round pick. The A’s may be motivated to continue pursuing Murray, but absent a pro football career that fizzles out, it does not seem like Kyler will be switching sports.
The Oakland A’s will likely never have anything to show for drafting Kyler Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the MLB Draft, but that does not mean they regret taking a chance on the two-sport star.
Murray officially announced on Monday that he is fully committed to pursuing a career in the NFL, meaning he will not be reporting to training camp with the A’s later this week. He’ll have to repay the portion of his signing bonus that he already received, though the A’s will keep his rights. Shortly after Murray made his intentions clear, A’s general manager David Forst said the team does not regret drafting Murray.
It's unclear when the A's learned of Kyler Murray's decision, but GM David Forst says, "We’ve known from the tone of the conversations that he could choose the NFL."
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 11, 2019
Forst: "We took the best athlete on the board and what we thought was the best baseball player on the board too. We don’t regret the pick at all."
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 11, 2019
The A’s had no idea Murray would go on to win the Heisman Trophy and become a potential first-round pick, so you can’t blame them for taking the best player available. At the time, it seemed like a no-brainer.
Some scouts have said they view Murray as a second- or third-round pick in the NFL, but it seems unlikely that he would choose football if he wasn’t fairly certain he will be drafted in the first round. The way NFL executives reportedly feel about Murray is likely a better indicator of his current draft stock.
Kyler Murray’s decision to pursue an NFL career certainly shook the sports world on Monday, but nobody more than the entire Oakland Athletics organization.
The decision will have particularly clear ramifications for Oakland’s minor league affiliates, including the Single-A Vermont Lake Monsters. They were pretty sad to see Murray go, and they made it pretty clear in an amusing Twitter post.
He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
— Vermont Lake Monsters (@VTLakeMonsters) February 11, 2019
The Lake Monsters probably are disappointed to miss out on Murray, as he would’ve been a big draw. Ultimately, though, he always seemed like he preferred to play quarterback in the NFL, and he’s now decided that he’s going to do just that, much to the disappointment of baseball fans.
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Position players are scheduled to report to training camp on Friday with the Oakland A’s, and the team is still uncertain if first-round pick Kyler Murray will be among them.
According to Carrie Muskat of The Associated Press, Murray has a locker and a No. 73 jersey waiting for him at Oakland’s facility. However, the A’s do not know if Murray intends to report to camp later this week, and general manager David Frost said Sunday that team executives have been in contact with the former Oklahoma star’s family.
Murray is likely trying to get a better idea of what his chances are of being a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. Pursuing a career in football makes more sense financially if he will be selected in the first round, as the guaranteed money he would receive from the team that drafts him will be about the same as what the A’s have offered him. If Murray does decide to go through with playing football, teams will have to be certain he is not going to change his mind before they consider spending a high pick on him.
Considering Murray is reportedly planning to attend the NFL Scouting Combine later this month, it would be a surprise if he reports to training camp with the A’s. While he still could play baseball, the way some NFL executives feel about him will probably make playing football an easier decision.
MLB does not want to lose a talented player to another sport and is working with the Oakland A’s on ways to entice Kyler Murray to choose a future in professional baseball.
MLB officials and the Oakland A’s were set to meet on Sunday with Kyler Murray, the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback who is weighing a future in pro baseball or football. Murray was drafted No. 9 overall by the A’s in the June MLB draft and given a $4.66 million signing bonus. The A’s allowed him to play football in the fall, and he exploded with a tremendous season that now has him considering a potentially lucrative future in the NFL.
According to one report, Murray was seeking $15 million from the A’s to stick with baseball.
How could the A’s make that happen? According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the A’s could put Murray on their 40-man roster, which would allow them to pay him a Major League contract rather than a minor league contract as is the case for most draft picks.
During a meeting in Dallas today, the possibility of Oakland guaranteeing money in addition to Murray's $4.66 million signing bonus was raised, sources tell ESPN. To do so, Oakland would need to add Murray to its 40-man roster. He still could develop in the minor leagues.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2019
Signing bonus aside, minor league players only make a few thousand dollars a month, if that. A first-year player in the minors who is on the MLB 40-man roster would make somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 per year. Perhaps MLB would allow the A’s to pay Murray a bonus that comes out of their 2019 payroll rather than have them limited by the total amount of money in their draft bonus pool.
As of the most recent CBA, MLB and the MLBPA created a rule that would allow teams to give out Major League contracts to draft picks in special circumstances such as this, where players have offers in multiple sports.
The deadline for a player to declare for the NFL Draft is Monday, which has created this pressure for the A’s.
If Kyler Murray is going to stick with baseball, he’s going to make the Oakland A’s pay.
Murray and the A’s are set to meet on Sunday to discuss his professional future. According to Mike Leslie of WFAA, Murray wants $15 million guaranteed from Oakland otherwise he will enter the NFL Draft.
According to a source close to the situation, Kyler Murray’s number is $15M.
He wants big time money to stick with baseball, otherwise he will enter the NFL draft tomorrow.
The A’s are doing everything they can, sending their top brass, led by Billy Beane, to meet with him.
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) January 13, 2019
The A’s put themselves in this situation by selecting Murray No. 9 overall in the MLB Draft and then letting Murray play football in the fall for Oklahoma. Murray exceeded almost all expectations, putting up a brilliant season that culminated in him winning the Heisman Trophy and taking the Sooners to the College Football Playoff. He played so well that he’s a legitimate first-round NFL prospect and potentially in the mix to go first overall.
Murray has all kinds of leverage. The A’s would only recoup the bonus money they’ve paid to Murray if he does not join the team, but they wouldn’t get their pick back. They’d be in a bad spot. They should spend some of their revenue share money, pay the man and bring him into pro baseball.
Kyler Murray is said to be strongly considering the possibility of entering the NFL Draft and pursuing a career in football, and the Oakland A’s are hoping they can change the star quarterback’s mind.
The A’s drafted Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the MLB Draft last year, and they agreed to allow him to play one more season at Oklahoma. Murray’s agent, Scott Boras, has said all along that Murray is committed to playing baseball, but that no longer seems like a guarantee. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the A’s were scheduled to meet with Murray on Sunday recruit him, in a sense.
The Oakland #Athletics have a contingent, led by president Billy Beane, meeting today with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray in hopes of persuading him to forego the #NFL and play baseball for them. They drafted him 9th overall last summer and gave him a $4.66 million bonus.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 13, 2019
Murray’s chances at immediate success in the NFL seem greater than they would be with baseball, and he is reportedly planning to enter the NFL Draft. Unless health is his main reason for choosing baseball over football, he probably has an easier path to making big money in the NFL, especially with what we have heard about how NFL executives feel about him.
If Murray does choose football, he would have to pay back the more than $4 million bonus the A’s gave him. Oakland would not, however, receive a compensatory draft pick.