The news didn't come as a surprise, but it stung the A's nonetheless.
Kyler Murray, the A's first-round draft pick last June, announced Monday he is pursuing a professional football career. While Murray reportedly will repay the majority of his signing bonus, Oakland will not receive a compensation pick.
Still, A's general manager David Forst says the team has no regrets.
"We took the best athlete on the board and what we thought was the best baseball player on the board too," Forst told reporters (via MLB.com's Jane Lee) at the team's facility in Mesa, Az. on Monday. "We don’t regret the pick at all."
As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. While the A's were fully aware of the risks involved with drafting Murray, they felt his talent warranted a roll of the dice. Unfortunately, it came up snake eyes.
Murray is projected to be a first-round pick in April's NFL draft, which would make him the first athlete ever selected in the first round of both the MLB and NFL draft. The A's will retain his baseball rights, in the case his football career doesn't work out, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin thinks that's a long shot.
Bob Melvin doesn’t see Kyler Murray returning to baseball as a likely scenario. Thinks he’ll be a great NFL quarterback and will be rooting for him. pic.twitter.com/ehtNsO9iWT— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) February 11, 2019
"I have a hard time believing he's not going to have a great football career," Melvin told reporters in Arizona.
If nothing else, the A's can finally move on from the Murray distraction, and focus on their current squad. Monday marked the official start of spring training, with pitchers and catchers reporting to the team's facility. Position players report on Friday.