KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Royals General Manager Dayton Moore is thinking about signing a college pitcher some say is one of the best. However, Luke Heimlich's controversial past has thrown interested MLB teams a curveball.
It's been widely reported the ace pitcher is also a convicted sex offender. Given his pitching pedigree, under normal circumstances he would have a shot at the major leagues, but his conviction has held many teams back. Now, the Royals are pondering signing the pitcher.
It was a stunning revelation through The Oregonian. After Heimlich failed to show up for court, the newspaper found through an investigation that he pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation when he was 15 years old. The victim is his niece, who was 6 at the time.
Heimlich is considered one of the best pitchers in college baseball, but he went un-drafted earlier this month. The Royals are thinking of signing him as a free agent.
"We do believe in the player and the person in Luke Heimlich. It's just more complex than that as we try to gather information," Moore told the media.
"Character is extremely important to this organization, but so is second chances. We give a lot of second chances at this organization. So again, we'll see, we'll see how it all plays out," said manager, Ned Yost.
Moore says they are still gathering information on Heimlich and the organization is still coming to grips with the situation.