The Athletics reportedly don't know if NFL Draft prospect Kyler Murray will report to spring training
A's position players are due to report Friday
Spring training is here. Oakland Athletics pitchers and catchers reported to the team's spring complex in Arizona on Sunday, and Monday they will hold their first official workout. The other 29 teams will open camp in the coming days.
A's position players are due to report Friday and, according to general manager David Forst, the club is uncertain whether 2018 first-round pick and NFL quarterback prospect Kyler Murray will report to camp. From the Associated Press:
The A's still don't know when or if top draft pick Kyler Murray will report to camp. The two-sport star has a locker and a No. 73 jersey waiting for him in Oakland's clubhouse at Hohokam Park, but general manager David Forst said Sunday they were still talking to the Murray family as the Heisman Trophy winner tries to decide which sport to pursue.
A's VP of baseball operations Billy Beane weighed in on the Murray situation Monday, reiterating that nothing has yet been decided about Murray's future with the franchise.
, which was only a formality. It allowed him to keep the door open to pursue an NFL career. Murray will attend the scouting combine later this month and .
It is possible for Murray to report to spring training with the Athletics, leave camp to participate in the combine, then return to spring training. It's up to the A's and Murray to work out an agreement. Also, because Murray is not on Oakland's 40-man roster, he is not obligated to report Friday even though he received an invitation to big-league camp. He could simply participate in the combine, then report to minor-league spring training when it opens in March.
A few weeks ago the A's and MLB met with Murray in an effort to convince him to give up football. , and put more money in his pocket through a signing bonus and increased salaries. Such arrangements are usually forbidden for recent draftees, but Murray is a special case because he's a Heisman Trophy winner and legitimate NFL prospect.
None of the major scouting publications ranked Murray as one of the top 100 prospects in baseball in their recently released rankings, partly because of the uncertainty surrounding his future. Baseball America did rank him as the fourth-best prospect in the A's system, however. Here's a snippet of their scouting report:
Despite not playing baseball regularly since he was a high school junior, Murray showed remarkable ability on the diamond as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. More surprising was that it came on the heels of a lackluster 2017, both in Big 12 Conference and Cape Cod League play. He hit for power, recorded high-end exit velocities and showed surprising fluidity in center field. He is a premium athlete who could be a standout defensive center fielder with an at least average arm. He appeared to pace himself in college by not cutting loose on throws or on the bases, and scouts believe he has more in the tank, with a chance for plus power, plus speed and a plus glove.
The A's selected Murray with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 draft and the two sides agreed to a $4.66 million signing bonus. He has received approximately $1.5 million of that bonus -- large MLB draft bonuses are typically paid out over several years -- and would have to repay the Athletics should he opt to pursue football. As long as he's drafted no later than the middle of the second round of the NFL Draft, Murray will come out ahead financially.
Murray, 21, hit .296/.398/.556 with three home runs and 10 stolen bases in 51 games for Oklahoma last spring.
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