Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna and catcher Luke Maile celebrate their American League MLB baseball win over the New York Yankees, in Toronto on Saturday, March 31, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

Blue Jays trade suspended Osuna to Houston in closer swap

Roberto Osuna is currently serving a 75-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy

Swapping a closer with on-field problems for one with off-field troubles, the World Series champion Houston Astros traded Ken Giles to the Toronto Blue Jays along with a pair of pitching prospects for Roberto Osuna on Monday.

Houston also sent right-handers David Paulino and Hector Perez to Toronto as part of the deal, a day before the deadline for trades without waivers.

“This was one (deal) that made sense form a baseball perspective,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a conference call Monday. ”Extremely excited about Giles, Perez and Paulino joining the organization. I think for many reasons this deal made sense and it starts with the talent we’re acquiring.”

The 23-year-old Osuna is eligible to pitch in the big leagues starting Sunday after a 75-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He has made six scoreless one-inning appearances in the minors since July 14, the last three at Triple-A.

READ MORE: Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna charged with assault

Osuna has not pitched in the majors since May 6, two days before he was put on administrative leave when he was charged with one count of assault in Toronto — which remains pending. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday in Toronto.

Atkins was asked whether having the bad optics of Osuna returning to pitch for the Jays factored in the decision to make the move.

“We do feel a responsibility to the fans and we do feel empathy for the fans and we ultimately work for the fans,” he said. “That’s how we do our jobs. We are human and it is very difficult for accusations not to influence us in some way.

“Having said that, this made sense for the organization from a baseball perspective.”

Osuna is 0-0 with nine saves in 10 chances and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games this season. He was an All-Star last year, when he went 3-4 with 39 saves and a 3.38 ERA.

The right-hander would be eligible to pitch in the post-season, unlike players suspended under the drug policy this year, such as Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano, who is ineligible.

Osuna lost 89 days’ pay, which comes to $2,536,022 of his $5.3 million salary, and the suspension delayed his eligibility for free agency by one year until after the 2021 season.

READ MORE: Osuna suspended 75 games by Major League Baseball

In a statement released by the Astros, Osuna said: “I thank Jeff Luhnow and the entire Astros organization for believing in me. I will not let them down.”

The 27-year-old Giles is 0-2 with 12 saves and a 4.99 ERA this season, and was currently in the minors.

Giles punched himself in the face this season while heading to the dugout after giving up a three-run, ninth-inning homer to the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez on May 1. He was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on July 11, a night after the hard-throwing righty appeared to curse at manager A.J. Hinch when he lifted him from the game.

The 27-year-old Giles had 34 saves in 38 chances with a 2.30 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings for the Astros last season. Houston won its first World Series title, but he struggled in the post-season. He allowed two runs in three innings against Boston in the AL Division Series. He surrendered three more runs, taking the loss in Game 4 of the League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, and allowed five runs in a pair of World Series appearances against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Most Read