Athletics

Athletics

Kyler Murray declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, but the A's still expect him to be at spring training next month.

"As we're sitting here right now, we expect him to be in spring training," A's manager Bob Melvin told The Associated Press on Friday. "At this point in time, we haven't heard anything different, and I'm expecting him to be in spring training. If something changes in the meantime, then we deal with it."

Murray is one of 18 non-roster invitees to A's spring training, and position players are scheduled to report to Arizona on Feb. 15. However, the NFL Scouting Combine begins Feb. 26 in Indianapolis, creating a potential conflict for the two-sport star.

"We're hoping he's (at spring training)," A's general manager David Forst Told the AP. "He's an incredible young man and would be a great asset for the A's. We made it clear to Kyler how much we'd like to have him here and how great a baseball player we think he could be."

The A's selected Murray with the ninth overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft and subsequently signed him to a $4.66 million signing bonus. The deal allowed him to play one more season of college football at Oklahoma, but no one expected the level of success he achieved there.

The dual-threat quarterback led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff and won the Heisman Trophy. Not surprisingly, his NFL draft stock since has exploded.

 

[RELATED: Kiper Jr. has Murray as No. 13 overall pick in mock draft]

Murray officially declared for the NFL draft on Jan. 14, but he still has the option to play baseball. If he instead elects to play professional football, he would have to repay all of his signing bonus to the A's. However, Oakland wouldn't get a compensation pick, though it still would retain Murray's baseball rights.

Murray is projected to be a first-round pick by almost every NFL mock draft, and he could go in the top 15. If that were the case, he would receive significantly more guaranteed money from an NFL team than the A's could offer.

For now, all A's fans can do is wait and see.