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Friday, April 3, 2020

Articles tagged: Oakland A’s

Report: Oakland A’s could put Kyler Murray on MLB roster to pay him more

Kyler Murray

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.

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.

Report: Kyler Murray wants $15 million from A’s to stick with baseball

Kyler Murray

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.

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.

A’s meeting with Kyler Murray in attempt to get him to stick with baseball

Kyler Murray

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.

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.

Rangers trade Jurickson Profar to A’s in three-team deal

Jurickson Profar

The Oakland A’s have reportedly acquired infielder Jurickson Profar from the Texas Rangers in a three-team trade.

Profar is the centerpiece of the trade, with the Tampa Bay Rays also involved and several players changing teams. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has the details:

Profar, who has had difficulty staying healthy during his MLB career, had by far his best season last year. He appeared in 146 games and batted .254 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI. Interestingly enough, it was the Rays who expressed interest in trading for him last winter, but they did not end up with him in Friday’s deal.

Profar has two more years of arbitration before he is eligible to become a free agent in 2021. The 25-year-old is a career .240 hitter. He could either play second base full-time for the A’s or be used as a utility infielder.

Report: No momentum in A’s talks about Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray

The rumored reunion between the Oakland Athletics and Sonny Gray does not look to be happening, at least for now.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Athletics have spoken with the New York Yankees about Gray, but the talks have no momentum at the moment and nothing is close.

Things could, of course, change at any moment. It’s not really a secret that the A’s would like to bring Gray back at the right price, but there are plenty of considerations that go into this. It’s worth keeping an eye on, but for the moment, there’s nothing going on.

A’s extended heartbreaking playoff streak with loss to Yankees

The Oakland A’s returned to the postseason this year despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, but Wednesday night’s loss was all too familiar for the team and its fans.

As Jane Lee of MLB.com pointed out, Oakland’s loss to the New York Yankees was the eight consecutive winner-take-all game that the A’s ended up on the wrong end of. That disappointing streak is the longest in MLB history.

The A’s won a World Series in 1989, so it’s not as if the franchise has been tormented for more than 40 years. Still, that’s a tough spot to lose in eight consecutive times.

Oakland decided to use only relief pitchers in the AL Wild Card Game, and fans were not kind to them when the strategy backfired. Ultimately, baseball got the matchup it wanted with the Yankees facing the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Although, that is no consolation for A’s fans who watched their team come up short yet again.

Each MLB playoff contender’s biggest weakness

Dave Roberts

We’re into the home stretch of baseball season, and the month of September will settle the playoff races. There are plenty of teams still in it, even if the American League picture looks mostly settled, but the races promise to be exciting.

There are, however, no flawless teams. Every contender has a weakness that can be exploited, albeit some more obvious than others. Looking at teams who are presently within three games of a playoff spot — sorry, Philadelphia — here’s the Achilles’ heel that could trip up each team down the stretch or in the postseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Run-scoring

In a pivotal weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Diamondbacks scored just nine runs across four games, three of which they lost by one run. That sums up where Arizona’s challenge lies. Only six National League teams have scored fewer runs than Arizona has this season. It’s odd to see a lineup with Paul Goldschmidt in it struggling this much, but he, David Peralta, and A.J. Pollock are the only three Diamondbacks hitting above .250.

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