In a quest to try to repeat as champions, the Astros took on a closer and potentially way more.
The Astros obtained Roberto Osuna from the Blue Jays, though the righty currently is serving a 75-game suspension for violating MLB’s protocols on domestic violence. The suspension runs through Saturday, but Osuna is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, which at least somewhat clouds whether he can return Sunday.
Houston will have to explain to its clubhouse, fan base and really people everywhere why it is taking on a player who accepted a suspension for domestic violence. The Yankees traded for Aroldis Chapman in December 2015 while he was being investigated for domestic abuse and the Cubs traded for him in July 2016 after Chapman had served a 30-game suspension.
Chapman helped the Cubs win the World Series and the Astros are willing to risk potential wrath to get the arm. In a statement, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said, “The due diligence of our front office was unprecedented” and that the Astros believe Osuna is “remorseful” and “has complied with all the consequences of his past behavior.”
Osuna, 23, has 104 career saves and a 2.87 ERA, and if this works how Houston envisions, the Astros would have, between Osuna and another recent acquisition, Ryan Pressly, addressed their most obvious shortcoming. The late-game relief was a problem because closer Ken Giles did not perform well this year, and after being pulled from a game July 10, he was perceived to curse out his manager, A.J. Hinch. He was demoted to Triple-A the next day and was the key piece Toronto got back for Osuna.
Toronto also received righty pitching prospects David Paulino and Hector Perez. Paulino was MLBPipeline’s No. 44-overall prospect last year before being banned 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.