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Royals' Moore: Heimlich situation 'very complex'

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

MILWAUKEE -- While the Royals continue to have internal discussions about potentially signing Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, general manager Dayton Moore said he does not intend to comment on the situation any further publicly.

Heimlich, whose Oregon State Beavers will play a deciding Game 3 of the College World Series on Thursday night and is not eligible to be signed until its conclusion, pleaded guilty in 2012 of molesting his then 6-year-old niece when he was 15.

MILWAUKEE -- While the Royals continue to have internal discussions about potentially signing Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, general manager Dayton Moore said he does not intend to comment on the situation any further publicly.

Heimlich, whose Oregon State Beavers will play a deciding Game 3 of the College World Series on Thursday night and is not eligible to be signed until its conclusion, pleaded guilty in 2012 of molesting his then 6-year-old niece when he was 15.

The Royals have known Heimlich and his family for several years, well before the incident was made public in a newspaper story in 2017. The Royals also have been close to the Oregon State baseball program, which spends a few weeks each year training in Surprise, Ariz., where the Royals train.

News of the Royals' possible interest in signing Heimlich became known when Moore discussed the matter in a pregame interview on Fox Sports Kansas City last week. Moore discussed it briefly again in The Kansas City Star over the weekend.

Moore described the Heimlich situation as "very complex."

"But I just don't feel the need to go into it any further right now," Moore told MLB.com.

But Moore did indicate the Royals were continuing to seek information on the matter.

According to scouts, Heimlich likely had first- or second-round talent, though he went undrafted earlier this month. He is 16-2 with a 2.80 ERA this season.

Royals manager Ned Yost was asked about Heimlich on Monday.

"I truly believe in second chances," Yost said. "But I think it's important that you go through the process like Dayton's going through the process, where you get all your facts straight on exactly what's going on, exactly what happened. Before you get all your facts straight, it's hard to make a judgment, or it's hard to make a decision or give a educated opinion on anything without doing it.

"Of course, I haven't done it. But I guarantee you this: Dayton's in the process of doing it, and there will be no stone unturned when he gets to his decision."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals