The A's might be hoping Kyler Murray fails so they can succeed.
It's an odd situation, especially since the A's believed in Murray enough to spend the No. 9 overall draft pick on him last summer, but his announcement Monday that he'll pursue an NFL career has created it.
Even then, the fight for Murray's service hasn't ended, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. That's because of the following factors:
-- The A's can offer Murray a guaranteed contract more lucrative than an NFL team can give him. NFL teams are bound by draft slots, while the A's can pay whatever they like, their reputation as a frugal team be damned.
-- The A's believe Murray's football agent, Erik Burkhardt, crafted his client's statement to ease NFL teams' concerns. The A's, meanwhile, were caught "off guard," Rosenthal writes, by the statement from Murray, who has wavered in his decision between football and baseball.
-- Last, but not least, the A's know Murray's showing at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month will determine much about his draft stock. Rosenthal writes: "If he falters at the combine and slips in the draft, the A's believe it is not out of the question he would reconsider his passion for football, which is widely believed to be his preferred sport."
So, the A's will wait and watch the NFL's reaction to Murray as he either dazzles or fizzles on that Lucas Oil Stadium turf. Many a prospect have.
If Murray slips under the bright lights, it appears the A's will be there, with a big contract possibly waiting. We'd all be lucky to have such options.