The details of Roberto Osuna's domestic violence case have not been made public, and it isn't entirely clear whether they ever will. Osuna has a court date Wednesday in Toronto.
Whatever emerges in that hearing, in subsequent legal action or in media reporting is now property of the Houston Astros. They employ Osuna after acquiring him from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, but they own the responsibility of taking on a player currently suspended for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy, and they own the choice of absorbing the ugliness of his actions, whatever their nature, into their organization for the sake of improving their bullpen.
No matter what comes to light with Osuna's history, the Astros have forfeited the right to be "disappointed" or "shocked" or "surprised" or "angered" or any other euphemism that teams tend to use when a player is accused of doing something appalling. Houston has surrendered the high ground, aggressively.
Other teams passed on Osuna; the Astros pursued him.
Talented Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow issued a statement as the team announced the deal: "We are excited to welcome Roberto Osuna to our team. The due diligence by our front office was unprecedented. We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willingly 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."
Sorry, but you cannot claim a zero-tolerance policy while trading for a player who is serving one of the longest domestic violence-related suspensions since MLB created its policy. That is the definition of tolerance, and soon enough it's possible we'll all know what the Astros might have ignored for the sake of adding a good ballplayer.
Osuna has done nothing to publicly accept responsibility for what happened. There has been no acknowledgment of his actions, no specific apology, no guilty plea. He hasn't been transparent at all, and at the time his suspension was announced his lawyer told reporters that his acceptance of the suspension was not an admission of guilt in whatever happened.
The Astros are OK with that. The Blue Jays, who are in a position to have known more about what occurred and how he responded, are not. Rival executives said that in recent days it was apparent the Jays were intent on moving the closer.
Osuna's jeopardy with Major League Baseball discipline is not necessarily over. If new details emerge in his case, MLB could reopen the matter.
A clue that the Astros did not view Osuna as a toxic asset to be avoided can be found in the trade return to the Blue Jays. For weeks, evaluators with many other teams have said privately that they would not consider pursuing Osuna because he accepted his suspension without contesting the discipline and without revealing what took place. The Jays had very little trade leverage with Osuna, and in recent days there was a growing sense among other teams that Toronto -- owned by Rogers Communications -- was devoted to the idea of dumping the right-hander.
As such, it was something of a surprise when the Blue Jays managed to extract not just one player out of the Astros but three: former Houston closer Ken Giles, who had been sent to the minor leagues; pitcher Hector Perez, rated by MLB.com as the Astros' No. 10 prospect; and pitcher David Paulino, who was suspended for 80 games last season for a PED violation. That's a relatively aggressive return for a player other teams wouldn't consider.
It's a decision that is surprising -- and completely unsurprising. Tolerance and forgiveness in professional sports have long been directly proportional to the talent of the player -- and hey, Osuna is a really good pitcher.
The Astros are the team that has embraced him.
It's surprising. It's disappointing. It's shocking. It's appalling.