Baltimore Orioles: Should rules be bent?

The Baltimore Orioles and all of the other teams in MLB operate under the same rules. This much we know – in general. But there’s a player out there named Kyler Murray, who you might know as the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Oklahoma. Or maybe I should call him a “potential player.”

Murray plays both football and baseball – and he could have a legit future in either sport. He was drafted by Oakland Athletics in last year’s draft. Both the A’s, and the league want Murray to pick baseball. He’s a great talent. It appears that he’s more inclined to pick football – because of the possibility of more up front money right away. (If it were me I’d look at the fact that baseball would potentially provide for a longer career and more money over a longer period of time. Plus baseball contracts are guaranteed while football contracts are not – but that’s just me.)

According to various reports, Murray is willing to pick baseball right now – at a price. Murray wants a big league contract worth $15 million. That’s more than is allowed under the rules of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement. But the question is whether or not MLB would consider bending that rule, or in essence waiving it – to keep a promising talent in the game.

I’m kind of a “rules guy.” The rules are there for a reason, in this case to ensure that there’s no wage disparity. But MLB also risks losing a talent to another sport. So what gives?

I’m not sure that there is a right answer. Baseball certainly has a stake in keeping Murray in the sport, and obviously the A’s do as well. But if I were the Angels, Mariners, or Rangers, what exactly would I think of this prospect? Baseball bending it’s own rul in favor of one of their division rivals? That might not sit well.

I suppose that at the end of the day my stance is that the rules are the rules. They’re there for a reason. An entity like MLB would probably not want to be bending it’s own rules – from the perspective of precedent. Because any team could then come and ask for a special accommodation, and reference that they did it for Oakland. Time will tell.

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