Speed Reads

Meanwhile in sports...

The Oakland A's top draft pick just picked the NFL over the MLB. That's a big problem for baseball.

The Kyler Murray saga has at last come to a bruising close — at least if you're a baseball fan.

The two-sport athlete and Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback was a first-round draft pick by the Oakland A's in 2018, for which he received a $4.66 million signing bonus. But ahead of position players reporting for spring training on Friday, Murray — who had also declared for the NFL draft in January — announced on Monday that he is officially committing to football over baseball:

While NBC Sports notes that "there are still people inside the NFL who question whether Murray is tall enough to be a franchise quarterback," there is nevertheless little doubt that Murray will be a first-round pick in that sport as well. Unfortunately for Bay Area-baseball fans, it also means the A's essentially wasted their No. 9 overall draft pick.

Murray's decision is more significant than the impact on just one team, though. It is also a condemnation of the way baseball manages its talent; had Murray chosen to stay in baseball, after all, he would have had to play in the minor leagues on minimum wage, and would have been years away from making the big bucks in the Majors. Even if his injury risk might have been less with the A's, if the 2018-2019 free agency season has taught us anything, it's that even massive contracts are becoming scarcer for the sport's top athletes.

No one can especially blame Murray for picking the NFL — The Ringer went as far as to argue it was "financially prudent" to do so. If anything, the debacle will add further fuel to the debate that MLB is losing its elite talent to other sports because it doesn't pay its draftees enough.