Athletics

Kyler Murray sticking with A's despite NFL rumors, says Scott Boras

Kyler Murray sticking with A's despite NFL rumors, says Scott Boras

Scott Boras is the most powerful agent in baseball, and he represents one of the most talented and intriguing college athletes in quite some time. 

Kyler Murray is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but he also signed a $4.66 million contract this past summer after the A's selected him with the No. 9 pick in the MLB Draft. With the way he has succeeded as the Oklahoma Sooners' quarterback this season, though, talks of Murray exploring the NFL draft have exploded. 

On Thursday, however, Boras told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that Murray will stick with his commitment to the A's despite the speculation he will declare for the NFL draft

“Kyler has every intention of fulfilling his agreement with the A’s, and he’s grateful he has had the chance to pursue his college goals,” Boras told Slusser. “He will be in spring training with the A’s.”

Murray is listed at just 5-foot-10, but with his explosiveness and accuracy, he's projected as either a first- or second-round pick in the NFL. 

"I think that's something me and my family will talk about at the end of the season and weigh out the options of what the NFL thinks of me," Murray said last week to Tim Tebow when asked about his future as either a baseball or football player. "Right now my future is already kind of planned out, but we'll see what happens."

While Boras says his client will stay committed to the A's, Murray has until Jan. 14, 2019, to declare for the NFL draft. First, he'll try to beat Alabama in the College Football Playoff

“He could play in the NFL, certainly,” Boras said. “But no one understands this guy’s future in major league baseball — he’s got an opportunity to separate himself from everyone. He’s got a chance to be a great major-leaguer.”

On the baseball diamond, Murray, an outfielder, hit .296 with a .954 OPS and 10 home runs last season. He also stole 10 bases. His uncle, Calvin, played for the Giants and now works for Boras. 

A's minor league coach Webster Garrison tests positive for coronavirus

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AP

A's minor league coach Webster Garrison tests positive for coronavirus

The coronavirus has touched the A's organization.

A's minor league coach Webster Garrison has contracted COVID-19 and is on a ventilator, his fiancé Nikki Trudeaux said in a social media post Friday.

On Saturday, Trudeaux posted an update on Garrison's condition, stating that he hasn't suffered any setbacks.

The A's issued a statement to MLB.com's Martin Gallegos regarding Garrison:

“We want to extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to our colleague for a speedy recovery. We are committed to providing him and his family with support and care. Every person on our team plays a critical role to our success and we look forward to his return to the field when he is healthy.

“During this pandemic, the health and safety of our players, employees, and community is our top priority. We are in this together and will get through this together. We are following MLB suggested protocols, CDC guidelines, and local public health recommendations for care. Finally, out of respect for this individual's privacy, at this time, we will not comment further regarding his situation.”

Last season, Garrison served as the manager for the A's High-A affiliate in Stockton, and is expected to coach one of the A's rookie-level teams in Arizona this season, The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported.

The 54-year-old Garrison was selected in the second round of the 1983 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Garrison, a first baseman and second baseman, signed with the A's organization on two separate occasions (1991 and 1996), and appeared in five big league games in 1996.

Former Astro Evan Gattis takes shot at Mike Fiers, lazily backtracks

Former Astro Evan Gattis takes shot at Mike Fiers, lazily backtracks

A's starter Mike Fiers caused a storm this offseason when he blew the whistle on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

Fiers, who played for the Astros during their 2017 World Series-winning season in which they used technology to steal signs, has been almost universally praised as a hero for bringing the scandal to light.

But one of his former teammates apparently isn't happy Fiers pulled back the curtain on the Astros' trash-can banging ways.

After Gattis' posting caused a stir, the former Astro backtracked, claiming he has no ill-will toward Fiers.

It was a weird attempt at a flex from Gattis, who, even with the help of trash cans and technology, hit just .097 with a .129 slugging percentage on offspeed pitches in 2017.

Oof.

[RELATED: Fiers details mentality behind two career no-hitters]

Gattis isn't the only former player to call out Fiers for his whistleblowing, as both Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz criticized the A's right-hander for the way in which he went about it.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow both were fired after MLB suspended for a season for their role in the rampant cheating.

The season currently is delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But when the season does begin, the first meeting between Fiers and his old mates will be one for the books.