The A’s reportedly expect Kyler Murray to start his baseball career in the California League this coming season.
Whether or not Murray actually wants a baseball career is the question, though.
Amid a San Francisco Chronicle report that the A’s expect Murray to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Jeff Passan cited sources in reporting Wednesday that the team was told the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback wouldn’t return to Oklahoma next season.
Sources also told ESPN that the A’s expect to see Murray, whom they drafted in the first round last year, in spring training from mid-February until mid-March, then have him start his first professional baseball season at Class A Stockton.
One problem: any pursuit of a football career surely would interrupt a baseball career, as the NFL Scouting Combine starts in late February.
While Scott Boras, Murray’s agent, again said the outfield prospect has a deal with the A’s, the two-sport athlete has until Monday to truly decide his NFL draft status. The deadline for college football underclassmen to state their NFL draft intentions is due then.
Even if Murray declares for the NFL Draft, that wouldn’t mean he is committed to football over baseball, ESPN reported. But if Murray left spring training to attend the combine -- a move the A's and Major League Baseball reportedly would have to approve -- it likely would send a message to his new A's teammates about his priorities.