Good morning everybody! We had a fairly decently-sized piece of baseball news come out yesterday...
Ultimately, this should come as a surprise to nobody. Kyler Murray has done a poor job at hiding his leanings towards the NFL since he won the Heisman Trophy.
The sport itself will survive without Murray. But more than anything, this demonstrates the problem that baseball will have attracting talented two-sport players as long as the vast majority of its draftees spend years bussing around small towns making next to nothing on the hope that they’ll be one of the few to make it. To some degree, that system I just outlined is unavoidable. What’s not unavoidable is making the sport more enticing with a more competitive salary for these athletes not only to be able to survive, but also to lure them away from other sports that are landing these super-athletes instead.
In Murray’s case, Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic reports that the A’s will have the opportunity to try to lure him away with a Major League contract in addition to his hefty draft bonus. However, it shouldn’t come to that. The depressed salaries of minor leaguers is likely discouraging athletic teens from choosing baseball over basketball and football at younger ages too, so the damage is still done.
Murray might have a very strong career in pro football. He might not. It will be a shame to not watch him put on a baseball jersey, and it’s somewhat of an embarrassment that highlights an obvious problem that needs fixing whether the owners like it or not. If baseball is going to sit and pout that Murray chose to play football, maybe the league should do something about it instead.
Anywho, onto the links for the day...
In Mariners news...
- With spring training kicking off, we’ve got some injury updates coming to us live from Peoria.
Scott Servais met with media briefly after coaches meetings. Anthony Swarzak is still coming off of mild shoulder discomfort and will be slightly behind other pitchers in the throwing program.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 11, 2019
Around the league...
- Here’s some financial details from the Murray fallout.
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 $3.16 million due March 1. The A’s will put him on the restricted list and retain Murray’s rights, but they don’t get a comp draft pick.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 11, 2019
- The Kirkland native has landed with a division rival.
Veteran catcher Nick Hundley signs minor league deal with #Athletics— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 11, 2019
- Brendan McKay, the Rays farmhand who many think could be the next two-way MLB player after Shohei Ohtani, will abandon his post at first base going forward and become strictly a pitcher and DH.
- Sheryl Ring at Fangraphs proposes restricted free agency for baseball, similar to what the NBA and NFL have, as a means of fixing the arbitration system.
- Derek Jeter is anxious to get the Marlins back to their winning ways as fast as possible.
Endy Chavez news: He has rejoined the Mets as a minor league coach. https://t.co/AWDnkBJAYf— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) February 11, 2019
- Bob Nightengale believes that the hunt for Bryce Harper’s services is down to just the Phillies and Giants at this point.
- David Schoenfield breaks down what to watch for with all 30 teams going into spring training.
- Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs notes that junior colleges are becoming the new proving grounds for MLB scouts to test their eye in a low-information environment.
- In order to find room for the newly-acquired Robinson Canó, the Mets will transition young infielder Jeff McNeil to outfield duties.
- Alright, I hear you Husky basketball haters: Here’s a cool feature Jayson Jenks at The Athletic did about Klay Thompson, recounting the star’s career at Washington State. ($)
- And here’s some more good Klay content. I wonder if Cousins gets the assist for that play.