Kyler Murray might not be an A's prospect for much longer.
Oakland's first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft announced Monday on Twitter that he is "fully committing" to pursuing an NFL career.
pic.twitter.com/kGePeWhrId— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) February 11, 2019
"Football has been my love and passion my entire life," the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback wrote. "I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating [100 percent] of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships."
Murray reportedly will return most of the signing bonus he received from the A's last year, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Kyler Murray will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million signing bonus money the Oakland A's gave him last year. He forfeits the remaining $3.16 million due March 1. The A's will put him on the restricted list and retain Murray's rights, but they don't get a comp draft pick.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 11, 2019
The A's picked Murray ninth overall in last June's MLB draft. He played two seasons for the Oklahoma Sooners as an outfielder and impressed the A's with his athleticism and raw potential.
But the A's allowed Murray to return to Norman in the fall to play football for his junior season, his first as Oklahoma's starting QB. At the time, Oakland's front office fully expected Murray to join the team in time for spring training.
"We're going to get (his) best years," Beane said. "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."
Then, Murray won the Heisman Trophy.
He led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff, throwing for 4,361 yards and rushing for another 1,001. Murray scored a combined 54 touchdowns, tied for the ninth-most in NCAA Division I history.
The A's remained optimistic as the offseason wore on, and manager Bob Melvin expected him to be at spring training. They reportedly met with Murray in an effort to ensure he chose baseball, but the 21-year-old announced last week he would attend this month's NFL Scouting Combine.
Murray's decision means the A's lose a potential marketable star, but losing the former first-round pick doesn't necessarily spell disaster for the organization. First-rounders are not locks for the major leagues, even if they were selected in the top 10. Plus, Oakland has enough depth in the outfield to withstand Murray's departure.
Should Murray be picked in the first round of the NFL draft as expected, he will be the first player taken in the top round of the MLB and NFL drafts.
And come April, Kyler Murray is fully expected to become the first athlete ever drafted in the first round in both the NFL and MLB.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 11, 2019
Murray will make history, but barring a change of heart now or down the line, that piece of trivia will be the only lasting memory of his time with the A's.