FRIDAY: Murray will receive $4.66MM, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter), which checks in just below the $4,761,500 slot value. The sides have yet to put pen to paper, Callis notes.
WEDNESDAY: The Athletics have reached a deal with No. 9 overall draft pick Kyler Murray, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The agreement will guarantee Murray close to $5MM and allow Murray to play quarterback at Oklahoma for one year, per Heyman. Murray, one of the country’s top multi-sport athletes, could step up as the Sooners’ starting quarterback in place of Baker Mayfield, who was selected with the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Of course, Murray is hardly a slouch when it comes to the baseball diamond. Oakland selected the center fielder ninth overall, and scouting reports on him indicate that he has plus-plus speed in addition to promising bat speed the potential for average or better power, though he’s less polished than many college bats given that he has yet to fully commit to baseball.
Heading into the draft, Fangraphs ranked Murray as the No. 20 prospect in this year’s class, while ESPN’s Keith Law tabbed him 35th, MLB.com pegged him 36th and Baseball America rated him No. 77 among available prospects. Murray, who has yet to turn 21 years of age, is coming off a season in which he hit .296/.398/.556 with 10 homers and 10 steals in 51 games. His slot comes with an assigned pick value of $4,761,500, so it seems that his agreement with the A’s will pay him at that level or perhaps a bit more.
It’s an interesting arrangement for Murray, who’ll lose NCAA eligibility in baseball but (clearly) not in football now that he’s agreed to a deal with a Major League organization. The agreement points to the likelihood that Murray’s future lies on the diamond and not on the gridiron, though it’s sure to be a complex arrangement. It’s not known at this time what sort of contingencies are in place in the event that Murray incurs a severe injury while playing football, though it seems likely that the A’s will have some form of safeguards in place, given the size of their investment in Murray and the level of risk that comes with allowing him to play NCAA football.