When the Oakland A’s drafted Kyler Murray with the ninth pick in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft last June, they probably didn’t think he’d go on to win the Heisman Trophy.
So, they agreed to let him play one more year of football at Oklahoma before reporting to spring training in February 2019.
Murray, of course, had a tremendous year, leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoffs and winning the Heisman Trophy.
This gave the 21-year-old a good problem to have: The dilemma of having to decide whether to pursue a career in professional baseball or professional football.
Earlier this week, Murray made clear his intentions to pursue a career in the NFL.
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) February 11, 2019
So where does that leave the A’s? Basically, they have nothing to show for their decision to pick Murray. Because they signed him to a $4.6 million signing bonus, they won’t receive a compensentory pick, as others have in the past when a draft pick didn’t sign.
For example, the Astros didn’t sign No. 1 pick in 2014 Brady Aiken, but received the No. 2 pick in 2015 as compensation. That pick turned out to be Alex Bregman.
But because the A’s did sign Murray, they don’t get compensation, according to CBS Sports. They do, however, retain his rights should a career in the NFL not pan out for Murray. The A’s reportedly knew this going in, according to CBS, but they decided to take a chance to lock down Murray.
If Murray’s football career flames out and he ever does decide to play baseball, it will be with the A’s. But he’s certainly not even thinking about that possibility.
“I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray tweeted Monday.
That’s pretty definitive that baseball is not in his future.
So, with spring training beginning this week, the A’s move on without their top pick last year. That means they could have had outfielder Travis Swaggerty out of South Alabama, who was picked 10th by the Pirates; or right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, who was picked 11th by the Orioles, or basically anyone else who was selected in the draft after Murray.
Meanwhile, Murray prepares for the NFL Draft on April 25. But he does have to return most of his signing bonus for not joining the A’s.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, he will have to return $1.29 million of the $1.5 he already received.
Plus, he has to forgo the remaining $3.1 million that was owed to him. So basically, Murray gets to keep just $215,000 of the signing bonus.
Kyler Murray will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million signing bonus money the Oakland A’s gave him last year. He forfeits the remaining $3.16 million due March 1. The A’s will put him on the restricted list and retain Murray’s rights, but they don’t get a comp draft pick.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 11, 2019
Still, that’s a pretty good return for doing nothing.
And Murray stands to make a heck of a lot more than that in the NFL, particularly if he goes in the first round.
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