OAKLAND -- A's management continues to believe that Kyler Murray, the team's first-round pick who is also contemplating a career in the NFL, will report to Spring Training without a fuss."There's been nothing from their side that suggests otherwise," said Billy Beane, Oakland's vice president of baseball operations, at Saturday's
OAKLAND -- A's management continues to believe that Kyler Murray, the team's first-round pick who is also contemplating a career in the NFL, will report to Spring Training without a fuss.
"There's been nothing from their side that suggests otherwise," said Billy Beane, Oakland's vice president of baseball operations, at Saturday's FanFest.
The A's selected Murray, who commanded a $4.66 million signing bonus, ninth overall during last June's MLB Draft. Since then, the former University of Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy by throwing for 4,361 yards while totaling 42 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
Murray's big season for the Sooners sparked rising speculation that he will begin his professional career in football, not baseball. But Beane maintained the organization's aplomb.
Murray has declared for the NFL draft, which means, as Beane pointed out, that Murray will not return to Oklahoma's football program. Beane insisted that the relationship between the A's and Murray's side remains cordial.
"We're in regular contact with Kyler and his family," said Beane, who met with Murray's representatives along with general manager David Forst two weeks ago in Dallas.
So, the A's aren't wondering whether Murray, a non-roster invitee to big league camp, will report to Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 15. Nevertheless, Beane still fields questions, such as whether the organization would permit Murray to attend the NFL scouting combine Feb. 26-March 4, when the 21-year-old's football skills would be closely evaluated.
"It's not something we've discussed," Beane said.
Beane also was asked whether the A's would allow Murray, projected by some experts as a first-round NFL draftee, to leave the organization on a trial basis to test his football skills.
"That's not an area we're exploring," Beane said.
In other A's matters
• Beane prioritized the club's remaining needs -- starting pitching, catching depth and left-handed relief -- in that order.
"I think we'll address all of those in some way, shape or form," he said.
The catcher, Beane said, likely would be part of a platoon.
• Right-hander Jharel Cotton is scheduled to resume throwing on Feb. 4. Cotton sat out the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last March.
"We look to see him hopefully pitching competitively sometime after Spring Training," Forst said.
To say that Cotton's eager is an understatement.
"I'm like a little kid, waiting to get my candy again," he said.
Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.