Astros make a controversial trade to get closer Roberto Osuna from Blue Jays
As the trade deadline looms, the Astros have made one of the more controversial trades in recent memory to get a closer that could fuel them in the postseason. Monday, Houston acquired closer Roberto Osuna from the Blue Jays with Toronto receiving recently disgraced Ken Giles along with prospects David Paulino and Hector Perez.
Osuna, who had an All-Star season in 2017 is a young reliever who has been with the Blue Jays since he debuted in 2015. Last year, Osuna had 39 saves and 10 blown saves with a 3.38 ERA over 64 innings pitched. In his 15 games before the suspension this year, Osuna had 9 saves and 1 blown save with 15.1 innings pitched and a 2.93 ERA.
Osuna definitely has a great arm and will be a great addition to the bullpen, however, it comes with a great deal of baggage. Earlier this year, Osuna was suspended 75 games for violating the MLB's domestic violence policy. The allegations are that Osuna assaulted a woman in Toronto which resulted in his arrest on May 8, 2018, leading to his suspension. Osuna plead not guilty, though did not appeal his suspension. Osuna has a court date on Wednesday for the case, which is expected to be settled, and is eligible to return to the MLB on August 5th and is reportedly scheduled to join the Astros in Los Angeles this weekend.
Houston gives up Ken Giles, a once dominant closer recently sent down after poor performance and alleged outburst towards A.J. Hinch in his last major league game, along with prospects David Paulino and Hector Perez. Paulino served a lengthy suspension in 2017 for violating the MLB's PED policy, though is still the #23 prospect in the Astros organization according to MLB.com. Perez is a much higher prospect, currently ranked #10 in Houston's system.
Giles, as many Astros fans know, has had a roller coaster of a season, though did well in save situations, and may be able to turn things around on a new team. Paulino has started seven games in the minors this year, going 27 innings in those starts with a 4.67 ERA and 33 strikeouts. Perez has made 13 starts this year across A and AA, and pitched in relief in 8 others for 21 total games. In those games, Perez has a 3-4 record and a 3.73 ERA with 101 strikeouts over 89.1 innings pitched.
Despite the Astros front office putting out a statement to try and assure fans that Osuna's past is behind him, it has not surprisingly resulted in less than rave reviews from fans around Houston as they have issues accepting someone with Osuna's alleged character issues on their team. Here is what Jeff Lunhow had to say:
"We are excited to welcome Roberto Osuna to our team," said Lunhow. "The due diligence by our front office was unprecedented. We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior, has proactively engaged in counseling, and will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind. Roberto has some great examples of character in our existing clubhouse that we believe will help him as he and his family establish a fresh start and as he continues with the Houston Astros. We look forward to Osuna's contributions as we head into the back half of the season."
Yes, the Astros have the elite closer they have been going after to help them in the playoffs. However, the cost, both in the players given up and the PR of the person they've acquired, may be too hard to swallow for fans of the team who vows to #NeverSettle.