Blue Jays Are Shopping Dominant Closer Roberto Osuna (UPDATE: Astros)

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Blue Jays Are Shopping Dominant Closer Roberto Osuna (UPDATE: Astros)

Chicago Cubs

As we sit here in the middle of the #BNBlogathon, I get the sense that the Cubs have at least one more move up their sleeve. The sexiest outcome, of course, would be one of those landscape-changing deals for a cost-controlled starting pitcher – a la Ken Rosenthal’s latest bombshell rumor – but the more realistic outcome is that the Cubs trade for another reliever before the clock strikes 3:00 pm on Tuesday.

And although they added an apparently lights-out reliever in Jesse Chavez earlier this month (dude’s been killing it), I think their next addition could very well be of the back-end, top-shelf variety. There are simply a ton of quality relievers available on this particular market and a team like the Cubs, who seem destined to keep playing in October, can never have enough quality relief options.

And as it turns out, one of the most talented relievers in all of baseball – Roberto Osuna – is very available … but he comes with an enormous and, in my opinion, deal-breaking catch. It’s all right here in a tweet:

In 2015 (2.58 ERA, 1.3 WAR), 2016 (2.68 ERA, 1.8 WAR), and 2017 (3.38 ERA, 1.74 FIP, 3.0 WAR), the now 23-year-old closer established himself as one of the game’s elite closers. I mean, seriously, a 3.0 WAR season from a reliever is about as nuts as it gets.

However, he’s all but ruined his reputation and desirability after very serious domestic violence allegations led to a 75-game suspension earlier this season. Indeed, Osuna isn’t even eligible to come off the suspended list until August 5th, and according to Steve Adams (MLB Trade Rumors), he’s got another hearing before that (August 1st) which could theoretically add even more time to his suspension if it results in a criminal conviction.

Ugly, but factual note: Because of the suspension (where big league time is not accrued), the 23-year-old Osuna became subject to an additional year of team control this season. So he will now be under control through the 2021 season, when he will be just 26.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

But all of this was meant educationally, at least that’s my hope, because I’m not particularly interested in the Cubs going after Osuna. Even if we assume he’s going to be the exact pitcher he was before serving a 75-game suspension – not a guarantee – I’m just not interested in the Cubs acquiring him. We’ve done this before with acquiring a player who’d recently been suspended for a domestic violence incident, and I don’t really want to revisit it. [Brett: Agreed.]

And that goes double considering how good the Cubs bullpen has been, even without their closer for multiple stretches, and how strong the the relief market still is. The Cubs didn’t need to get Jeurys Familia and they don’t need to get Osuna.

I’m just here to tell you that he’s probably very good, clearly very available, and could be moved before tomorrow’s deadline.

UPDATE: Astros go for it.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami