Reliever Roberto Osuna is close to agreeing to a one-year contract with Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines for the 2023 season, per Enrique Rojas of ESPN. Osuna is represented by Vayner Sports.
Osuna began the 2022 season playing in the Mexican League for the Diablos Rojos del México, tossing 13 1/3 innings of three-run ball while striking out 15 batters and earning six saves, before joining the Marines for the second half of the season. Once in Japan, he threw 32 2/3 innings of 1.37 ERA ball, posting a 37:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, earning sixteen saves, and allowing only a single home run.
Osuna, who will be 28-years-old during the 2023 season, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2020, when he was outrighted off the Astros’ roster. Osuna had missed much of that season with an elbow injury that limited him to only four appearances. The injury initially came with a recommendation of Tommy John surgery, but a second opinion led him to rebab instead. Now, with two consecutive years of pitching more than 45 innings, Osuna appears fully recovered.
Osuna served a 75-game suspension in 2018 for violating the MLB – MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy. A member of the Blue Jays at that time, he was arrested in Canada and charged with the assault of his then-girlfriend. He later agreed to a one-year peace bond, with the alleged victim withdrawing the charges to resolve the criminal case.
Per the Canadian Department of Justice’s website, peace bonds are generally used when “an individual (the defendant) appears likely to commit a criminal offence, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has actually been committed.” The Canadian Department of Justice further adds that peace bonds are obtainable by “any person who fears that another person may injure them, their spouse or common-law partner, or a child, or may damage their property.”
It’s unclear if any major league club has shown interest in bringing Osuna back state-side this offseason. There’s little question of his on-field effectiveness when he is healthy, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll get another MLB opportunity at any point down the line.
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