MLB Rumors: Roberto Osuna has been placed by the Houston Astros on outright waivers, per Jake Kaplan on Twitter. The 25 year old righthander underwent Tommy John surgery in August, which means he will be out through 2021. Since Osuna needs one year of service time to be eligible for free agency, and he will miss all of 2021, the Astros would lose him after 2021 if they kept him, so it has been expected that they would waive or non-tender him.
Osuna, of course, was the highly controversial acquisition that the Astros made in the summer of 2018. Osuna, originally with the Toronto Blue Jays, had been suspended 80 games for violating the league’s domestic violence policies earlier in the year. The Blue Jays didn’t want to bring him back, so the Astros swooped in and acquired him for Ken Giles, David Paulino and Hector Perez on July 30, 2018.
Osuna pitched fairly well for the Astros, though the organization took a significant p.r. hit for bringing in Osuna, with Jeff Luhnow saying at the time that it was not inconsistent with the team’s stated “zero tolerance” policy regarding domestic violence, saying that since Roberto Osuna committed domestic violence while he was with the Blue Jays, rather than the Astros, it didn’t violate the “zero tolerance” policy for the Astros.
That led to the October, 2019, controversy where Astros assistant g.m. Brandon Taubman loudly yelled and cursed at female reporters in the Astros locker room about how glad he was the Astros acquired Osuna — one of which had made subtle criticisms of the decision to acquire Osuna on Twitter. After initially defending Taubman, putting the reporter who broke the story on blast and accusing her of making something up, the Astros ultimately backtracked and fired Taubman.
Osuna would seem likely to end up rehabbing as a free agent, since I don’t think any team is going to want to pick him up right now. After the 2021 season, if he’s healthy, maybe a team takes a chance on him.