Oakland A's Will Not Receive Draft Compensation After No. 9 Overall Pick Murray Chooses NFL


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.

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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.

Did Kyler Murray make the right choice in going for the NFL?

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.

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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.

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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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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