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

Aldergrove Easter event line-up for families staying local

Easter egg hunts in apple orchards, bouncy castles, facepainting, bunny-petting and more.

Young ukulele players wow Langley audience

The performance highlights several upcoming concerts.

Langley police seek new leads in hit and run cold case

Six years ago, someone struck a young woman with a car and drove off

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Langley gymnasts golden at provincials

LGF and Flip City win multiple all-around champion awards

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man driving wrong way on Highway 17 ‘seriously’ injured after crash: Surrey RCMP

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read