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Sources: Heimlich signs with Mexican league

Former Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, who was not selected in the Major League Baseball draft last summer, has signed a contract with a team in Mexico's summer league, multiple sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The left-hander, who as a teenager pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old niece, signed with the Dos Laredos Tecolotes of Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB). The team begins play on April 5.

Heimlich, 23, was expected to be drafted in 2017 before The Oregonian reported he admitted to the crime when he was 15. After pleading guilty, Heimlich was sentenced to two years' probation, among other requirements.

That June, Heimlich's junior season, the victim's mother expressed dismay that Heimlich was allowed to pitch for Oregon State, telling The Oregonian, "I'm appalled that the college he's going to would even have him on their team."

Heimlich recently insisted in stories by Sports Illustrated and The New York Times that he was actually innocent and said he pleaded guilty because of poor legal advice.

Heimlich, a two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year at Oregon State, has been passed over in the last two drafts. In June, 1,214 players were selected during the three-day draft.

The Oregonian reported in August that Heimlich agreed to a deal with the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional League. Shortly after he agreed to the deal, the CPBL ordered the Monkeys to terminate the contract, saying the CBPL has a zero-tolerance policy for players with criminal history.

Major league scouts who saw Heimlich throw in a January workout in Kent, Washington, told ESPN the quality of his pitches had improved since college and he could be a viable major league starter this season.