Report: Luke Heimlich taken off many teams’ draft boards

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Luke Heimlich, a junior left-handed pitcher for Oregon State University, was expected to be selected early in the 2017 amateur draft. However, it was recently revealed by the Oregonian that the now 21-year-old Heimlich was a registered sex offender as a result of pleading guilty to repeatedly sexually molesting his six-year-old cousin when he was 15 years old.

Heimlich’s case went into Oregon court records for the first time when he missed an annual update in April. And once that became public, his story became known to the baseball world.

As a result, ESPN’s Keith Law said on Outside the Lines that Heimlich has been taken completely off many teams’ draft boards. He said, “Every team I spoke to — which is not to say all 30 teams, but a sampling of the teams — all said they had taken him off the board entirely. They would not draft the player because of the revelations of the criminal past…”

In the past, teams have been very lenient towards people who have committed sexual assault, so it’s at least good to see that many teams are not willing to reward a player just because he’s good at throwing a baseball. If a team were to select Heimlich, it would be subject to questioning and since the lefty is still years away from being a potentially marketable star, it’s a risk most teams appear to be unwilling to take.

The Pac-12 Network is already bracing for that scrutiny as OSU advances through the 2017 Division I Men’s College World Series. Deadspin’s Patrick Redford reports that the Pac-12 Network sent out an internal memo instructing employees to avoid talking about the Heimlich situation entirely. The memo said, “Do not engage in the discussion,” and later added regarding questions that may be asked, “Regardless of the question, do not engage.” And while OSU granted Heimlich’s request for time off, it hasn’t said or done anything at all, really, beyond offer general public statements.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.