Two-sport star Kyler Murray was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in last June’s MLB Draft, and was given a $4.6 million signing bonus. And then he went on to win the Heisman Trophy for his incredible, electrifying efforts as quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Well, earlier in the week, reports emerged that Murray is expected to enter the NFL Draft, and many evaluators think he’d be a first-round pick (and if so, he’d be the first athlete to ever be selected in the first round in both the MLB and NFL drafts).
On Sunday, several outlets reported that Billy Beane and the Oakland brass were meeting with Murray in an attempt to get him to stick to baseball.
WFAA’s Mike Leslie had more specific details, reporting that Murray is asking for $15 million from the A’s. And if that dollar amount isn’t reached, Murray intends to enter the NFL Draft on Monday.
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
This all creates a highly unique situation, and one in which Murray has a ton of leverage. Obviously, MLB should really, really want Murray to choose baseball.
I’m not sure we fully grasp how important it is for baseball that Kyler Murray plays this sport. He’s already more famous than 95% of players in the major leagues and that might be conservative. https://t.co/mm3ZKIMhmp
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 13, 2019
It feels like it would mean so so so so so so so so so so so much to MLB/baseball for an exciting football player to choose baseball instead.
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 13, 2019
And ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that MLB is prepared to “waive a rule preventing teams from giving major league contracts to recently drafted players” if Murray can agree to a new contract with the A’s.
Major League Baseball would waive a rule that prevents teams from giving major league contracts to recently drafted players if Kyler Murray and the Oakland A's can strike a deal that would have him choose baseball over football, league sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2019
In Kyler Murray talks, sources confirm #Athletics *are* permitted to give Murray additional money (and 40-man roster spot) as long as @MLB officials are satisfied that there was no agreement to do so in advance of his entry contract. Credit first to @JeffPassan and @BillShaikin.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 14, 2019
Rival GM: “Everyone knows this isn’t circumvention. They already gave him a big bonus and now would have to give him more. I actually hope the A’s can get it done. It would be good for the game for Murray to play baseball.” https://t.co/9j1sJfj0I5
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 14, 2019
If he gets a new deal and MLB approves it it would be a fascinating development. At that point MLB draft bonus limits would effectively be meaningless. Murray has played zero games since he signed a deal limited by MLB draft bonus limits. https://t.co/UhcbOHbQlP
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) January 13, 2019
Jeff Passan's tweet is very good news for recently drafted players. Cant imagine this will be the last use of this newly created loophole.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) January 13, 2019
And a few additional tweets on the topic:
A $15M contract for Kyler Murray would be on par with being the 14th pick in the NFL draft.
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) January 13, 2019
I’m told that MLB has sent some marketing folks to Dallas along with the A’s execs who are talking to Kyler Murray about his baseball future today.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 13, 2019
here’s the relevant provision of the MLR that would almost certainly block any Murray renegotiation—the A’s are risking major penalties even *trying* to file a contract, and Murray can just enter the NFL supplemental draft if this all blows up pic.twitter.com/mPdYn0WZie
— Jarrett Seidler (@jaseidler) January 13, 2019
It will be interesting to see the route Murray chooses, and of course if the A’s are willing to meet his demands. We should have an answer to all of this in the coming hours.