Athletics

Kyler Murray 'thankful, blessed' to sign with A's: 'I can't put it into words'

Kyler Murray 'thankful, blessed' to sign with A's: 'I can't put it into words'

This fall, Kyler Murray will be starring at quarterback for the University of Oklahoma.

After that, it's all about baseball.

"We're going to get (his) best years," said executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane. "He'll have fun this fall, but he's going to have a really long and very productive baseball career, and we're looking forward to seeing it."

The Athletics officially introduced their first-round draft pick Friday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. Murray, 20, and the A's agreed to a $4.66 million signing bonus, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. 

"It's a little surreal, growing up as a kid dreaming to play a professional sport, whichever one it is," Murray said. "I'm just thankful, blessed. I can't put it into words, just thankful."

The A's turned some heads when they drafted the two-sport star ninth overall, but they are comfortable with Murray playing one more season of football before focusing on baseball full-time.

"In January, we're going to be so excited that this kid is playing for the Oakland A's," Beane said. "We (would) be hitting ourselves in January if we haven't taken this kid."

"I've been doing it my whole life," Murray said of playing both baseball and football. "Obviously I worked hard for the opportunity to be the quarterback at the University of Oklahoma. For me, that's a huge deal."

On the baseball field, Murray slashed .296/.398/.556 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 51 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound outfielder also recorded 13 doubles and three triples, stealing 10 bases in 14 attempts.

Murray has drawn comparisons to major league outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Jackie Bradley Jr. But he likes another comparison.

"The big one is Rickey Henderson," he said. "I've watched a lot of his film. He's a great player, a great legend obviously. But I'm pretty confident in my own skills, so hopefully one day, dudes will be looking up to me."

Matt Harvey looks dominant in his first start with A's Triple-A team

Matt Harvey looks dominant in his first start with A's Triple-A team

The A's Matt Harvey reclamation project has begun. 

Harvey made his first start with the A's Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and he looked dominant. The former NL All-Star threw four shutout innings and allowed just two hits while striking out five.

The 30-year-old also showed solid command. He didn't allow a walk, and 38 of his 58 pitches were strikes. He also forced four groundouts. 

The A's signed Harvey to a minor league contract Wednesday, and hope a change of scenery will help him find his old form after he sported a 7.09 ERA and 1.54 WHIP over 12 starts with the Angels this season. 

"You look at some of the stuff, it doesn't look too much different than it did last year," A's manager Bob Melvin said at the time of the signing. "We're just going to give him some starts down in Triple-A and see where we are with that. You can never have too much depth.

"You never know about injuries and so forth, so we're giving him an opportunity to get some starts under his belt and we'll see where we go with him. We're not sure yet either."

Harvey looked like a future ace when he came on the scene in 2012. He had a 2.94 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through his first four seasons with the Mets, and then injuries derailed his career.

But Harvey did look a bit like himself after a trade to Cincinnati last season. Through eight appearances -- four starts -- with the Mets, he had a 7.00 ERA. In 24 starts with the Reds, though, Harvey went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA.

Harvey did impress the A's in his one start against them this season, too, allowing two earned runs on four hits over six innings.

[RELATED: A's more than happy to take flier on Harvey]

"I was impressed by his stuff, so he's a good guy to take a chance on," Melvin said. 

The "Dark Knight" might not rise again, but Harvey could be the perfect pitcher for the A's to take a chance with during the stretch run to the playoffs.

A's vs. Astros lineups: Jurickson Profar back at DH in series finale

A's vs. Astros lineups: Jurickson Profar back at DH in series finale

As the A's go for a four-game sweep of the Astros in Oakland, manager Bob Melvin is making one slight change to his lineup. 

Switch-hitter Jurickson Profar will replace Khris Davis to face right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke. Since the arrival of Corban Joseph, Profar hasn't started a game. 

The utility man has struggled at the plate this season, slashing .205/.268/.382, but does have 15 home runs. 

Here are how the lineups look to shape up for the Astros-A's series finale. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. PT on NBC Sports California with first pitch set for 1:07 p.m. You can also stream the action with the MyTeams App

Houston Astros (78-46)
George Springer, CF
Jose Altuve, 2B
Michael Brantley, LF
Alex Bregman, 3B
Yordan Alvarez, DH
Carlos Correa, SS
Yuli Gurriel, 1B
Robinson Chirinos, C
Josh Reddick, RF
Zack Greinke, P (12-4, 2.91 ERA)

Oakland A's (71-52)
Marcus Semien, SS
Robbie Grossman, LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, CF
Corban Joseph, 2B
Chad Pinder, RF
Jurickson Profar, DH
Josh Phegley, C
Brett Anderson, P (10-8, 3.95 ERA)