AUGUST 10: Per CPBL Stats (via Twitter), the league has now officially rejected the contract.
AUGUST 8: The Lamigo Monkeys, a Taiwanese professional team, recently announced the signing of former Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich. It’s not yet clear, however, that the contract will go into effect.
The CPBL Stats website has tracked the league’s reaction to the announcement. It seems that the league has given varying indications, at one point saying it would require termination of the contract but later indicating the matter was still under review. To this point, the Lamigo announcement is still accessible online and there is no indication that the contract has formally been rescinded.
By now, most MLBTR readers are surely familiar with Heimlich’s background. Many, no doubt, have formed strong opinions on what it means for his future as a professional baseball player. In brief, Heimlich pled guilty as a teenager to sexually molesting a child, a fact which emerged in the middle of his tenure as a standout collegiate ballplayer. Regardless of one’s viewpoint, it’s worth reviewing this recent assessment of the situation from Kurt Streeter of the New York Times.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported during this year’s draft that Heimlich was nearly certain to join a MLB organization. Indeed, the Royals even publicized their possible interest (see here and here), while other organizations were also said to be considering a highly controversial move to bring in an undeniably talented player with a deeply concerning past.
As it has turned out, though, Heimlich was not selected in the draft and has not joined an affiliated club as a free agent. The fact that he has not found a willing team to this point perhaps indicates that it won’t happen — at least, in the near-term.
Instead, it seems he and his representatives have turned their attention to opportunities abroad, perhaps hoping that he’ll have an opportunity to earn some money and build some momentum toward an eventual move to a MLB organization. The outcome of that initiative, too, remains uncertain at this point in time.