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

Beer garden incorporated into Langley’s 25th annual Arts Alive

More entertainment, more vendors, more food, and a new beverage station added to Saturday’s festival.

Surveillance workers at the Cascades Casino in Langley City vote to join union

Eleven employees will be represented by MoveUP union

Langley musician blends folk and pop in new songs for Arts Alive anniversary

After travelling Europe and Scotland for a bit, a local artist is back home singing and songwriting.

Wildfire smoke brings in air quality advisory for Lower Mainland

People with health conditions are urged to avoid the outdoors

LETTER: Invest in peace, not war

A Langley man wants Canada, and its allies, to focus energies on peace – not making weapons.

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

Aldergrove Dodgers bat Silver

Aldergrove PeeWee A 13U Dodgers earned silver at Provincials

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Aldergrove seniors hall kitchen renovated

New cabinets and countertops installed with New Horizons grant funding

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Drug-checking started as pilot in four B.C. communities to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Most Read