Justin Verlander says he stands by his harsh criticism of domestic abusers as the Houston Astros acquires Roberto Osuna.
Osuna, 23, is serving a 75-game suspension from Major League Baseball for violating the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy after he was arrested May 8 and charged with one count of assault in Toronto.
He’s slated to join the Astros in Los Angeles on Sunday, but he may not get the warm welcome he’s expecting.
Team veteran Verlander, who is married to model Kate Upton, has been very outspoken about players accused of domestic abuse in the past.
Justin Verlander (pictured) says he stands by his harsh criticism of domestic abusers as the Houston Astros acquires Roberto Osuna
When Astros minor leaguer Danny Vasquez, was caught on surveillance footage beating his girlfriend, players Lance McCullers and Verlander furiously tweeted.
‘I hope the rest of your life without baseball is horrible. You deserve all that is coming your way! Verlander wrote.
And Verlander has no plans to back down from his stance on domestic abuse now Osuna is set to join the team.
‘It’s a tough situation,’ Verlander said to reporters. ‘I think the thing for us to remember here is that the details have not come to light. We don’t know the whole story.
Roberto Osuna (pictured), 23, is serving a 75-game suspension from Major League Baseball for violating the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy
Osuna is slated to join the Astros in Los Angeles on Sunday, but he may not get the warm welcome he’s expecting
‘Obviously, I’ve said some pretty inflammatory things about stuff like this in the past. I stand by those words.’
The Houston Chronicle reported that Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and the Astros ‘reached out’ to some members of the coaching staff and team to assess reaction to a possible deal for Osuna.
Carlos Correa said that second baseman Jose Altuve was one of the players whom the front office contacted before the deal. Correa, Verlander and Collin McHugh – the team’s player representative – were not contacted.
Verlander said he was unconcerned about not being consulted with, and he added that he would reserve judgment on Osuna for now.
‘I just want to listen,’ Verlander said. ‘We don’t know the details of much. I haven’t really paid attention to (Osuna’s legal case), for obvious reasons – it wasn’t really in my life. Now it is. That’s probably going to be a personal thing that stays in the locker room and won’t be talked about publicly, as those things are.’
Verlander is married to model Kate Upton. The couple were spotted at the Maxim Hot 100 Experience in LA on July 22 where the 26-year-old mom-to-be showed off her baby bump for the first time (pictured)
Osuna can return to the majors on August 5 and will be eligible for the postseason, as players suspended for domestic violence are eligible to play in the playoffs, unlike those banned under the league’s policy prohibiting performance-enhancing drugs.
‘I am excited to join the Houston Astros and move forward with a fresh start to my career,’ Osuna said about the trade in a press release.
‘The positive character of my new teammates is a big reason for their success and I look forward to bringing a positive contribution to this great group of guys as we work towards many more winning seasons. I thank Jeff Luhnow and the entire Astros organization for believing in me – I will not let them down.’
Luhnow issued a statement that read, in part: ‘The due diligence by our front office was unprecedented. We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior, has proactively engaged in counseling, and will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind.
‘Roberto has some great examples of character in our existing clubhouse that we believe will help him as he and his family establish a fresh start and as he continues with the Houston Astros.’
Osuna was due in court on July 9 to offer a plea, but the date was rescheduled for Wednesday. He plans to plead not guilty to the charge, according to his lawyer.
Vasquez was arrested for the vicious assault, but the case was dismissed after a plea deal
Based on his $5.3 million salary for this year, the 75-game suspension will cost Osuna approximately $2.45 million.
Meanwhile, Verlander is expecting his first child with Upton.
The couple were spotted at the Maxim Hot 100 Experience in LA on July 22 where the 26-year-old mom-to-be showed off her baby bump for the first time. Verlander and Upton had tied the knot around six months ago.
Astros have a four-game lead in the American League West and look set to return to the postseason.
The Astros traded Ken Giles to the Toronto Blue Jays along with a pair of pitching prospects for Osuna on Monday.
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.
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.
The Astros lead the AL West, but were set to begin a series at Seattle having lost a season-high four in a row. They also acquired reliever Ryan Pressly from Minnesota last week.
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