KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — As Royals general manager Dayton Moore explores the possibility of signing Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, he won't receive any pushback from his manager.
The final determination on the potential pursuit of Heimlich, who as a 15-year-old in 2012 pleaded guilty to a felony charge of molesting his 6-year-old niece, will fall to Moore and his front office. Royals manager Ned Yost referred to himself as something of an outsider to the vetting process that Moore will conduct in the coming days and weeks.
Yost's reaction to the possibility, therefore, was in a more general sense.
"I don't have thoughts on it. I mean, I believe in second chances, but in terms of what's going on there, I don't really have any idea," 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 (and) exactly what happened. Before you get all your facts straight, it's hard to make a decision or give an educated opinion on anything without doing it.
"But I guarantee you this — Dayton is in the process of doing it, and there will be no stone unturned when he gets to his decision. So I've got all the confidence in the world that whatever he decides is going to be what I'm gonna back. But again, I believe strongly in second chances."
As reported by The Star last weekend, the Royals are not the only team seeking more information on Heimlich, who was labeled a first- or second-round talent before the story of his felony charge was publicized last year. Although he pleaded guilty, Heimlich has since told Sports Illustrated that he did so only to avoid a trial and possible jail time.
Moore said his vetting process is a byproduct of "trying to be open-minded" rather than dismissing the possibility altogether. He spoke of second chances. Yost touched on that topic Monday, too.
"Character is extremely important to this organization, but so is second chances," Yost said. "We give a lot of second chances in this organization. Again, we'll see how it all plays out."