Astros make a controversial trade to get closer Roberto Osuna from Blue Jays

Roberto Osuna can pitch, but he brings baggage. Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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. 

Statistics acquired from milb.commlb.com, and espn.com 

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The Astros will look to bounce back after a tough week. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After a 6-3 record to start the season, the Houston Astros had a tumultuous week to say the least. They were swept by the Tigers, lost 2 of 3 games to the Seattle Mariners and placed five players on the COVID injured list.

The Tigers' new manager AJ Hinch returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros let him go after the cheating scandal in early 2020.

The Tigers swept the Astros and outscored them 20-8 over their three matchups.

Before the 3rd game of the series, the Astros found out they would be without five players on their active roster. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 injury reserved list.

"It's hard on the team but you have to carry on. The show must go on," manager Dusty Baker said. "And it went on today with some younger players we have here."

Garrett Stubbs, Taylor Jones and Abraham Toro were called up as well as Alex De Goti and Ronnie Dawson who made their major league debuts last week.

The Tigers were able to score runs early on Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers and Jake Odorizzi (who made his Astros debut) and none of these starters lasted more than five innings in the outings.

Yuli Gurriel was the one Astros bright spot against the Tigers as he had 7 hits and drove in 2 runs. He is still continuing to hit the ball consistently as he finished the series with a .429 batting average.

After a 1-5 home stand the Astros looked to bounce back on the road against the division leading Seattle Mariners (you read that correctly).

Friday night proved to be the Astros' best offensive performance since their home opener on April 8th against the A's.

They scored five runs on Yusei Kikuchi through 7 innings behind good hitting from Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and De Goti who drove in two runs on his first major league hit.

The Astros had a 5-2 lead at this point, but Seattle was able to score 4 unanswered to win the game.

Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor and Ryne Stanek were credited with those four runs.

Ryan Pressly tried to clean up the bottom of the 9th inning after Stanek put the first two batters on base. His effort was unsuccessfully as Ty France hit a game-ending single that scored J.P. Crawford from second to secure a Mariners victory.

Saturday was the best game of the week for the Astros as they finally broke their six-game losing streak.

After failing to pitch more than five innings on Monday against the Tigers, Zack Greinke threw eight shutout innings with 91 pitches.

He struck out six batters and gave up only 4 hits.

"That's what aces do," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Guys like (Greinke) ... they stop the bleeding and we're about bled out."

Greinke finished the game with 2,705 career strikeouts. He is now third amongst active players in strikeouts behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Ryan Pressly got some redemption too as he threw a perfect 9th inning giving him his first save of the year.

The Astros won this game 1-0 as Taylor Jones drove in the game's only run with an RBI single.

Sunday's game ended the Astros week with a whimper, as the Mariners bested Houston 7-2.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a good start, but he gave up three hits and was pulled after Mitch Haniger's fifth-inning triple made it a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

Odorizzi is now (0-2) with a 10.57 ERA after two starts with the Astros.

Houston's offensive woes continued Sunday, as Aledmys Díaz had their only hit, an RBI double in the second inning that fell in when outfielder José Marmolejos lost the ball in the sun.

"It's tough to take when you only got one hit and the one hit we got was lost in the sun," Baker said.

UP NEXT: The Astros (7-8) will finish their road trip with a two game series against the Rockies who have the worst record in the league (4-12) before starting an eight-game homestead.

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