Dear Oakland A’s,
Please let Kyler Murray play in the NFL. I get your point of view. You want to protect your prized 1st round pick from the 2018 MLB Draft where you selected Mr. Murray with the 9th overall pick. I get it that you think that he can be a franchise player for years to come and he can be the type of player that could vault you into the postseason year after year. But think of what could be…
In 2017, your organization came in 30th place in the MLB in total revenue. There are 30 teams in the MLB. You came in dead last, raking in *just* $210 million. To put that into perspective, the Yankees reeled in a whopping $619 million. I get it that teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs will always make more money than any other MLB organization, and you’re probably right. But teams like the Twins, Padres, Orioles, and Reds made quite a bit more than you. With a project in place of a new stadium and in 2018 you brought in a dismal total of 1,573,616 fans, with an average home attendance of about 19,500. That ranks 4th worst in baseball only above Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Miami. If winning 97 games and making the playoffs won’t bring you fan base out the the ballpark maybe they need a little jolt?
You could go sign a superstar in free agency, but with your small market, that would make maintaining the team you have now extremely difficult. But I have a proposition for you that could make you a consistent part of the national sports scene. Why don’t you create a modern day Bo Jackson and let your prized prospect play in the NFL and become a sports icon before he even steps foot in an A’s uniform?
Although Murray has stated his plans after Oklahoma are to play baseball, he believes he has the talent to play on football’s biggest stage. “I feel like I can play in the NFL, but as far giving [football] up, as of now, yeah, that’s the plan,” Murray stated. Some might call him crazy to give up on playing in the NFL and going to minor league baseball for what is absolute pennies compared to what he would make as an NFL rookie. But with the guaranteed money in the MLB and Murray’s elite potential, it makes sense for him to look at the long term view. As center fielder on the Sooners baseball team last year, Murray hit for a .296 average, including 13 doubles, three triples, 10 homeruns, 47 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. Murray’s five-tool player type is something special, which is why he was taken so high in last summer’s 2018 MLB Draft. As a football player, he’s also something special, collecting over 4,000 yards passing and nearly 900 yards rushing with a total of 40 passing and 11 rushing touchdowns. His running ability is what makes him so special and pairing it with his electric arm, NFL GMs are drooling over his dual threat talent. Those two traits are what is making NFL rookie QBs like Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen successful, as Jackson and Allen are first and second in rushing yards among all NFL QBs. Running signal callers have found success at the NFL level with Deshaun Watson, Cam Newton, and Mitchell Trubisky are all looking like fantastic franchise cornerstones for their franchises. With the ability run and pass, and to do them both well, Murray would quickly become a household name in the NFL.
From the A’s perspective, one of the first worries you would have about placing your top prospect on the gridiron would be that he would get hurt. However, you could argue that playing the quarterback position has never been safer. The NFL has continually put rules into place about how to protect the QB, and their latest set of rules has generated a significant amount of hubbub among players. With defensive players no longer being able to “drive” the QB into the ground, as well as hits to the head being consistently monitored, playing the quarterback position has become a relatively a safe position. Throw in Murray’s ability to run and escape pressure, and I believe the Oklahoma sophomore could maintain a relatively healthy career.
With you finalizing plans to begin the process of building a new baseball stadium that would open in 2023, what is a better way to bring fans to a new stadium than to open it with a new MLB AND NFL superstar? We’ve seen how Bo Jackson was a phenomena with the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Raiders, but you have the opportunity to recreate that with Kyler Murray. Murray could become a global icon in today’s world of social media and internet age. Just down the road in Oracle Arena, you saw first hand what a superstar can bring to a franchise when Steph Curry overtook the NBA and brought the Warriors back to relevance. Curry and the Warriors are now international icons and are recognizable around the globe. Murray could be that same superstar if you give him the opportunity to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
Dear Oakland A’s,
Please don’t let this opportunity pass us up. You are in the entertainment business and Kyler Murray could rejuvenate your fanbase and provide a shot in the arm to all of baseball. Don’t let this pass you by because you want to keep him to yourself. Share his amazing talents with the rest of the world and allow him to exhibit his amazing abilities and leave fans in awe.