The Astros, like many contenders this year, were hard up when it came to their bullpen so far this season and were looking for help at the deadline. They got that help in the currently-suspended under the league’s Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy Roberto Osuna. Houston is sending former close Ken Giles and prospects to Toronto in return.
Giles last big moment in Houston involved him cursing out manager A.J. Hinch after being pulled from a game, which led to his demotion shortly after. At one point this season Giles also punched himself in the face after one poor outing this season which at the very least makes for a worrisome pattern that the Astros obviously did not want to grapple with any longer.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 30, 2018
Yet even if they’re doing Giles a favor by giving him a change of scenery they traded for someone suspended for domestic violence, his 75-game suspension stemming from an alleged assault (legal proceedings are ongoing as a July 9th court date was pushed back to August) but who will be eligible to return to a major league roster on August 4th. One of the prospects heading to Toronto, David Paulino, was suspended 80 games for PED’s last year.
Notably, as Mark Feinsand points out, Osuna will be eligible to pitch in the postseason after he returns to the mound which is great for Houston and an incredibly bad look for baseball as a whole.
As @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned earlier today, players suspended under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy are still eligible to play in the postseason. Players serving PED suspensions are ineligible. This is important re: the Osuna deal.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 30, 2018
Especially when noted-non-abuser Robinson Cano will be back in baseball before the end of the season after his PED suspension but won’t be eligible to join the Mariners in the playoffs should they make it this year.
There are no winners in this trade, even though the Blue Jays objectively helped their rebuild by getting prospects from the Astros and the Astros are probably feeling better about their bullpen heading into August. Unfortunately for Houston fans, they’ll have to reckon with rooting for an alleged abuser every time they watch their team going forward.
In the 15 games and 15.1 innings Osuna pitched in 2018 before Toronto placed him on the restricted list he had a 1.109 WHIP and a 2.93 ERA, giving up 16 hits and five earned runs. He is a free agent in 2021.