SAN DIEGO -- Kyler Murray still has a fan in Billy Beane.
After Murray spurned a potential MLB career with the A’s to play quarterback in the NFL, Beane admits that he still holds a fondness for his former prospect and enjoys watching the now-Arizona Cardinals QB play football.
“I love it, I text him -- he’s on my fantasy team,” Beane said at the MLB Winter Meetings on Monday night. “I texted him, I said ‘I gotcha again.’ He texted me back and just gave a big heart.
“He’s a great kid.”
Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations, was paramount in Oakland selecting Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, believing the dual-sport athlete would thrive as a speedy outfielder at the big-league level. The A’s signed Murray to a contract with a $4.66 million signing bonus, which also allowed him to continue playing football that fall at Oklahoma.
But Kyler put on a show for the Sooners on the gridiron and never looked back. Murray won the 2018 Heisman Trophy, throwing for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and running for another 1,001 yards with 12 scores.
After months of speculation about whether he would declare for the NFL draft or continue his commitment with the A’s, Murray decided on Feb. 11 that he would focus entirely on his football career, forgoing baseball.
The Cardinals took Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, making him the first player in history to be drafted in the first round of both the MLB and the NFL drafts.
Murray has had a strong rookie campaign for Arizona, throwing for 3,060 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 448 yards and four more TDs on the ground.
So with those solid numbers, here’s the question we all want to know: How is Beane’s fantasy team doing this season?
“First time not making the playoffs,” Beane said with a laugh.