The A's and their first-round selection in this year's Draft, Kyler Murray, are nearing a deal that would guarantee the 20-year-old center fielder nearly $5 million as a signing bonus and would allow him to play football for one more season at the University of Oklahoma, a source told MLB.com.
The A's and their first-round selection in this year's Draft, Kyler Murray, are nearing a deal that would guarantee the 20-year-old center fielder nearly $5 million as a signing bonus and would allow him to play football for one more season at the University of Oklahoma, a source told MLB.com. The ninth overall pick comes with a slot value of $4,761,500.
Murray hit .296 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 51 games for Oklahoma following a productive Cape Cod League stint last summer. He transferred to Oklahoma following his freshman season at Texas A&M, and after sitting out the 2016 season, backed up Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield -- the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft -- last fall. Murray completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns.
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"I think, as a staff, we just felt like Kyler was a unique talent, and it's something that you come across rarely in what we do," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said following the selection on Monday. "The risk of the football was, in our opinion, outweighed by the upside on the baseball field.
"We were totally on board with his desire to play quarterback at Oklahoma. Frankly, we're kind of excited to be an Oklahoma fan for 12 games."
Murray is the son of former Texas A&M quarterback and Brewers farmhand Kevin Murray and the nephew of former MLB outfielder Calvin Murray.
The Murray selection is somewhat reminiscent of the Cubs' selection of two-sport athlete Jeff Samardzija in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft. Samardzija, now a right-handed pitcher for the Giants, played both baseball and football at Notre Dame, playing wide receiver for the Irish. Another similar selection recently came in 2011, when the Reds picked left-hander Amir Garrett in the 22nd round, signing him while also allowing him to play college basketball at St. John's.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.