A crucial pickup at the trade deadline often galvanizes a major league clubhouse, energizing players appreciative that their front office went the extra mile in an effort to win a championship.
Yet when that player is Roberto Osuna – still under suspension from Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy – and the acquiring team is the Houston Astros, the mood is far from celebratory.
Astros pitchers Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers tweeted their disgust earlier this year when surveillance video emerged of a former Astros minor leaguer assaulting his girlfriend.
Osuna, 23, is one of the game’s best relievers and fills a closer role that was vacated with Ken Giles’ poor performance. But he is serving a 75-game suspension that he quickly accepted after a May incident with a woman that resulted in criminal assault charges. He’s expected to plead not guilty in Toronto on Wednesday.
Verlander, to say the least, does not sound pleased with the pickup, and said he was not among the players general manager Jeff Luhnow consulted before making the trade.