Athletics

Kyler Murray NFL draft decision: Comparing money in baseball, football

Kyler Murray NFL draft decision: Comparing money in baseball, football

Baseball money or football money? That is the question.

Compensation surely is another factor Kyler Murray must be wrestling with as he decides whether to play baseball or football professionally.

It might seem trivial -- both will pay him millions! -- but the Heisman Trophy winner assuredly is weighing the compensation structure of both the MLB and the NFL as he decides his future.

Although the two-sport star has declared for the NFL draft, he already has put pen to paper on a $4.66 million signing bonus with the Oakland A’s. Murray reportedly would have to give back most of the money the A's gave him if he were to play professionally in the NFL instead. 

Some have argued that the guaranteed money he’s already agreed to with Oakland would be enough to convince him to stick with baseball and report to MLB spring training in February as the A’s hope.

However, the Oklahoma QB wouldn’t necessarily lose guaranteed money if he chooses football.

In fact, if Murray believes he’ll be a first-round pick in April’s NFL draft -- and there’s reason to believe he could go as high as No. 1 overall -- Murray would earn more money from his NFL signing bonus than the $4.66 million he’s assured with the A’s.

Per Spotrac, first-round picks in the 2018 NFL draft received signing bonuses ranging from $4.97 million (No. 32 pick Lamar Jackson) to $21.85 million (No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield).

So even if Murray was the last pick in the first round, he actually would bank more guaranteed money than he currently has with the A’s.

When considering his future earning potential, that’s when it gets tricky. If Murray turns into a star quarterback, or even a serviceable one, he’ll be heavily compensated for the rest of his career (see: Bay Area quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr, who both signed contracts worth more than $70 million in guaranteed money, per Spotrac).

But since NFL contracts aren’t fully guaranteed, Murray could risk leaving lots of cash on the table if he were to be seriously injured or if he didn’t perform up to expectations.

Conversely, if Murray decides to stick with baseball, he keeps the $4.66 million up front … but then has to wait until he makes the major leagues to make more significant money. 

Once Murray makes the majors, he then would have to wait another six-plus years to hit free agency before a monster eight- or nine-figure contract could be waiting for him.

[RELATED: Why it's not the end of the world for the A's if Murray picks football]

So while Murray’s signing bonuses in both sports could be similar, the risk/reward for his future earning potential surely will factor into his decision.

Does Murray see the green dollar signs of guaranteed contracts in baseball, knowing he’d have to wait years to see most of the cash as he first pays his dues as a minor leaguer? 

Or does he choose the instant fame of being an NFL quarterback, knowing he’ll be more susceptible to injury and the risks that come with non-guaranteed money?

That must be one hefty pro/con list ...

MLB rumors: Mike Trout, Angels nearing record $430M contract extension

troutusatsi.jpg
USATSI

MLB rumors: Mike Trout, Angels nearing record $430M contract extension

The A's are going to have to deal with Mike Trout in the American League West for a long, long time. 

Trout and the Angels are nearing a record-breaking 12-year, $430 million contract extension as reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan. The new deal would easily become the largest in professional sports history. 

The 27-year-old was set to be a free agent in 2020. He could have created a super team with Bryce Harper on the Phillies, the team he grew up rooting for. Or maybe all the money the Giants threw at Harper could have gone to Trout, and then some. 

That can no longer be the case. 

Once Harper signed his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies, the Angels couldn't waste any time. There have always been connections to Trout and the Phillies, and Harper didn't hold back in telling the world he would recruit the star center fielder to Philadelphia. 

Instead, Trout will continue to play for the team he's put together arguably the greatest start to a career in MLB history. The two-time AL MVP has a .307/..416/.573 slash line over his eight-year career with 240 home runs. 

Since 2012, when Trout won the AL Rookie of the Year and was the MVP runner-up, he has averaged 34 home runs and 26 stolen bases. His 64.3 bWAR is the most ever through an age-26 season. 

Though he was probably never going to join the A's, the team can't be happy to see Trout in the AL West for so many years to come. Since joining the big leagues, he's been an unstoppable force against Oakland.

Trout is batting .310 with 30 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 124 career games against the A's.

[RELATED: Six Bryce Harper-level free agents Giants should chase in coming years]

In an offseason where baseball stars are on the move finding new homes, Trout will have a halo and a heavy wallet for more than the next decade.

Watch Khris Davis' three-run ninth-inning home run give A's tie in Japan

khrushwalkoffus.jpg
USATSI

Watch Khris Davis' three-run ninth-inning home run give A's tie in Japan

Bob Melvin has seen this before. Even in Japan, Khris Davis is clutch.

With two outs and the A's down 6-3 in the ninth inning, Davis smashed a three-run homer over the left field wall to tie it up at 6-6 at the Tokyo Dome. The exhibition against the Nippon Ham-Fighters prevents extra innings and ended in a tie. 

"I literally said, 'I've seen this happen before,'" A's manager Melvin said to reporters after the game. 

The tie ended the A's exhibition series against the Fighters before their Opening Series games start against the Mariners. Oakland won the first exhibition, 5-1.

Davis was the hero, but Matt Chapman was the A's best player once again in the tie. Chapman went 2-for-2 with a walk, and went 5-for-5 in the two exhibition games. 

[RELATED: Five A's players who were cut but still could make impact]

The A's first run of the game came off in the second inning. Stephen Piscotty smashed a solo shot to left field to give Oakland an early lead. 

Brett Anderson started on the hill where he allowed two unearned runs while striking out four. Shortstop Marcus Semien committed two errors on the day. 

The A's open the regular season against the Mariners in Tokyo on Wednesday morning at 2:35 a.m. PT.