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Kyler Murray will pursue baseball career

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Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray was selected by the Athletics ninth overall in the first round of the 2018 draft. He’s a terrific baseball player, but he is in the midst of a Heisman Trophy-caliber season, as he has thrown 40 touchdowns and a total of 4,053 yards while rushing for 11 touchdowns and 892 yards. That has led to some uncertainty about his future as a baseball player, as he very easily could also jump into the NFL draft.

His agent Scott Boras put that to bed. He told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, “Kyler has every intention of fulfilling his agreement with the A’s and he’s grateful he has had the chance to pursue his college goals. He will be in spring training with the A’s.”

It isn’t just Boras himself speaking for his client. Boras said, “Kyler said more than a week ago that he’s going to spring training. When people come around this kid and ask him all this stuff about his future and he said, ‘We’ll talk about it after the season,’ that’s what he’s saying. His attitude is, ‘The Oakland A’s gave me an opportunity to fulfill a personal goal in college football and when it’s complete, I’ll return to my contractual commitment.'”

Murray’s Sooners are 12-1 and headed into the College Football Playoff. He also helped the Sooners reach the 2018 Division I Baseball Championship, but his team was eliminated in the regionals. Murray, an outfielder, hit .296 with 10 home runs, 57 RBI, 46 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 189 at-bats.

From a practical standpoint, it makes sense for Murray to choose baseball over football. If he can endure the low pay — he agreed with the A’s to a signing bonus of approximately $5 million — and low quality of life of the minor leagues, and then make it to the big leagues, he will earn guaranteed money with a much lower risk of injury, particularly brain trauma.

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.