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Roberto Osuna: “Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.”

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Until Wednesday, Astros reliever Roberto Osuna hadn’t spoken publicly about the May 7 domestic violence incident for which he was arrested. Osuna accepted a 75-game suspension from Major League Baseball in June and served the entirety of it. The Blue Jays traded him to the Astros ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Breaking his silence, Osuna spoke to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday prior to a day game against the Athletics. Osuna said:

No one knows what happened but obviously me. Everybody is quick to judge me and say all kinds of things about it. I’m just waiting for everything to come out so people can really wait to see what happened. I would really like the fans, and everybody else, (to) learn what the media says is not true.

The biggest thing for me, and it’s sad to me, (is) how people are free to say whatever they want. They can just judge you, and they don’t know you. Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.”

Osuna added, “Hey, if I’m guilty, you can say whatever you want.”

Osuna’s proclamation of innocence is interesting considering he willingly accepted MLB’s 75-game suspension. As Nightengale points out, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow also described Osuna as “remorseful” and as having “willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior.” Owner Jim Crane said to USA TODAY Sports, “We did as much homework on this as we could, and we felt the guy deserved a second chance.” If Osuna is truly innocent, as he and others claim, why did he accept MLB’s 75-game suspension without a fight? What is Osuna “remorseful” about, if not for the alleged abuse? What does he deserve a second chance for, if not for having blown the first on May 7? The words from the Astros brass and Osuna’s own acceptance of his punishment seem to indicate he is guilty about something.

The Astros tripped over themselves time after time trying to justify the acquisition of Osuna. But they’re happy with what he has done on the field so far, recording two saves with a 2.70 ERA and a 10/2 K/BB ratio in 10 innings. Some Astros went on record defending Osuna as well. Third baseman Alex Bregman said to Nightengale, “I think once the truth comes out, a lot of people are going to eat their words.” Bregman called Osuna “an unbelievable teammate, and a great guy.”

Starter Dallas Keuchel said, “You’ve got to really step back and remove yourself from the situation until everything comes out and the case is closed. I had to tell myself that as well. It’s not easy hearing about it, but you’ve got to be careful not to make a judgment until something comes out.”

Osuna is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on September 5. If he is convicted, he could face six months in prison and a $5,000 fine, per Nightengale.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.