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The Oakland Athletics’ push to keep Kyler Murray’s baseball career alive has included people from Major League Baseball.
According to a report from MLB.com, the league sent marketing executives to a meeting between the A’s and Murray on Sunday. The A’s met with the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner to persuade him to play baseball instead of entering the NFL draft.
The 2019 NFL draft declaration deadline is Monday. Murray, a junior, could be a first-round pick if he wants to go into the NFL draft. The A’s reportedly are expecting Murray to enter the draft, hence the meeting.
Several Oakland officials met with Murray in Dallas on Sunday in an attempt to lure him back to the diamond, MLB.com confirmed. Vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst were among the A’s leading representatives.
In addition, MLB sent marketing executives from the league office to attend the meeting and present information regarding Murray’s off-field earning potential, sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
If Murray declares for the NFL draft in 2019 or 2020 and is a first-round pick he would be the first player to be a first-round pick in both the NFL and MLB drafts. The A’s drafted Murray in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft in June.
Murray signed a deal with the A’s that allowed him to play the 2018 season as Oklahoma’s QB with the idea that he’d report to spring training in February. Few people anticipated a Heisman-winning season, however, and that’s complicated matters. Had Murray had an ordinary season it’s entirely possible that he’s heading to spring training in February with relatively little fanfare. Instead, he was the most dynamic player in college football.
Major League Baseball clearly understands Murrays’ dynamism. Getting him to play baseball over football would be a coup for the league considering he’d need a couple of years in the minors before he reaches the majors. And it would reportedly be willing to waive a rule to keep him from heading to the NFL.
It seems safe to say that MLB really wants Murray to choose baseball over football.
Does Murray want $15M from the A’s?
At the risk of using a trite phrase, Murray could be playing hardball with the A’s. Mike Leslie of Dallas’ WFAA said Murray was asking for $15 million — over three times what his original signing bonus was — to keep playing baseball.
That $15 million would be comparable to the size of a contract Murray would get if he was drafted in the middle of the first round of the 2019 NFL draft. The No. 16 pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills’ Tremaine Edmunds, received a contract with a total estimated value of $13 million.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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