A criminal investigation against Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna is currently ongoing, but Major League Baseball issued a statement on their decision to suspend the 23-year-old.
“Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Osuna violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will expire on August 4th.” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement issued on Friday evening.
Osuna’s suspension is 75 games, retroactive to May 8th, which means he’ll be suspended without pay until August 4th. At that time, he is eligible to return to Major League Baseball, but with a subsequent court hearing on July 9th. Osuna did not appeal the suspension.
Commissioner Manfred announced today that @BlueJays pitcher Roberto Osuna has accepted a suspension without pay through 8/4/18 for violating the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The unpaid suspension is retroactive to 5/8/18 and covers 75 games. pic.twitter.com/NettIJlCjw
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 22, 2018
The Blue Jays followed up with their acknowledgement of the punishment handed down from the commissioner’s office, saying “the Toronto Blue Jays support the decision by the Commissioner’s office to suspend Roberto Osuna. As this remains a legal matter, the club will have no further comment at this time.”
MLB conducted its own independent investigation into these charges and handed down their own suspension, which is completely separate from the criminal case. Earlier this week, Osuna pled not guilty to one count of assault stemming from his initial charge by Toronto Police on May 8th.
For the commissioner’s office to issue a suspension before an official court ruling, MLB must’ve felt it had substantial evidence from its own independent investigation to warrant a 75 game suspension.
Osuna’s 75 game suspension is the third-longest of its kind since Major League Baseball instituted its Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy in August of 2015. Earlier this year, Jose Torres of the San Diego Padres was suspended 100 games for violating this policy stemming from a domestic abuse related arrest in late 2017.
Osuna was on track to become a free agent at the end of the 2020 season, but this 75 game suspension sets back his free agency one more year. Now, he’s under team control through the 2021 season, which means if he somehow remains a Blue Jay – or any other team takes him on – he’s under team control for three more seasons.
Until the official outcome of his court case, Osuna’s status with the Blue Jays is still in limbo. Despite the 75 game suspension by Major League Baseball, his return date is uncertain at this time. He’s been on administrative leave – with pay – since May 8th.
Pending the court results, there’s a possibility he sits out the remainder of the season with the Blue Jays. At the very least, the earliest he could return to the field with the Blue Jays is August 5th.