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Elephant Rumblings: Kyler Murray’s salary in NFL is now close to A’s full team payroll

MLB news roundup

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Kyler Murray Signs Contract Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

In 2018, the A’s took a high-upside risk in drafting University of Oklahoma star quarterback and outfielder Kyler Murray in the first round of the MLB draft. He was the ninth overall selection that year.

Unfortunately, the A’s hopes for their splashy pick fell apart in short order, as Murray won the Heisman Trophy the same year and declared for the 2019 NFL draft, where he was taken first overall by the Arizona Cardinals. His football career has taken off since then, and as Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle detailed yesterday, Murray signed a five-year, $230.5 million mega-extension with the Cardinals last week.

His $46.1 million annual average earnings will be second highest in the NFL to Aaron Rodgers. It’s also close to the A’s entire 2022 opening day payroll of $47.7 million. The A’s still own Murray’s baseball rights, but it seems pretty unlikely at this point that Murray would opt to return to baseball considering the fame and fortune he’s attained playing in the NFL.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim mentioned the A’s payroll by way of suggesting how costly it would be for Murray to switch back to baseball. In a press conference on Friday, a reporter asked Murray if his big extension meant ruling out playing baseball in the future.

Keim interjected: “Did you guys see the payroll of the Oakland A’s versus his contract? Enough said.”

Murray simply said, “I’m where I want to be.” So much for that roll of the dice!

Thankfully, the A’s three subsequent first round picks Logan Davidson (2019), Tyler Soderstrom (2020), and Max Muncy (2021) are all signed and under development in the A’s minor league system. All three are top 25 A’s prospects—and Soderstrom and Muncy are both in the top five.

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