Tinfoil Hat Theory: What Are They Really Planning?
*Disclaimer: The contents below are pure speculations derived from public statements from both the Lamigo Monkeys and the CPBL regarding the Luke Heimlich case.
With the Lamigo Monkeys insisting on signing convicted child molester Luke Heimlich, and with the CPBL being extremely slow at reviewing Heimlich’s contract. You can not help but wonder, perhaps, if there is more to this story.
An Under the Table Deal Involving the Lamigo Monkeys
Could it be possible that the Lamigo Monkeys struck an under the table deal with an MLB organisation or Heimlich’s agency? “Sign Heimlich for a year or so, then sell his contract back into the United States’ MLB system.”
Looking at the Lamigo Monkeys’ earlier statement, their general manager mentioned that the Monkeys had received a recommendation letter from an MLB organisation. He also hinted that Heimlich would not stay in Taiwan for long.
Someone Fired the First Shot: Setting Precedent
Prior to the 2018 MLB draft, there were plenty of reports that several MLB organisations were thinking about signing Luke Heimlich, but backed out due to the tremendous amount of public backlash.
This is about setting a precedent. If the Lamigo Monkeys sign Heimlich, this is essentially somebody within the professional baseball firing the first shot. Maybe this is the type of thing that the MLB organisations or players’ agencies were waiting for?
It is a little like money laundering, but with the players’ reputation. Wash his reputation clean in a foreign league, then make a comeback to the MLB system.
Potential Payout: Selling the Contract to MLB
What is there in it for the Lamigo Monkeys? What was promised or given to them that made the Monkeys’ front office completely ignore their moral standards? Is it safe to assume that there will be some significant contract buyout fee associated with this?
That brings us to the next round of questions. How much is Luke Heimlich worth? The typical MLB first-round draft pick signing bonus runs from $2,000,000 to $7,000,000 USD. But since he went undrafted, it makes sense that no team would want to pay market price for him.
With a “discount” added, let’s assume his bonus was cut down to around $400,000 to $800,000 USD. This is still a pretty large amount of money for a team like the Lamigo Monkeys, especially when their highest-paid player is currently earning $220,000 USD per year.
Another Potential Outcome: Heimlich Stays in Taiwan
What if the Lamigo Monkeys did not strike an under the table deal with an MLB organisation, and simply wanted to sign a player like Luke Heimlich?
In that case, this will work out well for the Monkeys as well. Heimlich was already “blacklisted” by the MLB, and assuming CPBL was not his first choice in Asia, we can eliminate the NPB and the KBO too.
That leaves the Monkeys with a young 22-year-old, a potential MLB first-round draft pick in their rotation. Judging from his pitching ability, on paper Heimlich should do very well in Taiwan for many years to come.
What About the League?
According to Article 94, by pleading guilty to the charges, Heimlich has already breached the Players Misconduct Acts. Looking at the rule, it seems like a very straightforward thing, yet days after the whole incident started, the case is still under review by the league.
So, what is the league’s interest in this whole thing? Why do they keep on dragging out the review process? Is it possible that the league is in on it as well? Perhaps they will receive a decent sized “
donation baseball development fund” from the Lamigo Monkeys after they sell Heimlich’s contract?
The Real Truth: We Will Never Know
Like I said at the very beginning, the contents of this blog post are pure speculation. Whether it is really the case, we will never know. Only Luke Heimlich, his agent, and the Lamigo Monkeys know the real truth, and they are certainly not going to tell me.