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Heyman | MLB denies Jays request as Osuna wait continues

Jon Heyman



Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays star closer Roberto Osuna received a July 9 trial date when he appeared in court this week on a spousal abuse charge, but he may not be on the mound for a lot longer than that in a situation that’s frustrating the Jays.

Jays management has inquired of MLB whether there was a way MLB could expedite a finding as he’s already missed more than a month, but MLB’s position continues to be that they don’t want to make a ruling until they have all the facts so it continues to deny the request.

Toronto’s in a very bad spot, not of its own doing. Jays people have met with MLB, but it appears there is little the team can do about the timing. The Jays would prefer to know when the talented Osuna may be available to them again; however, MLB is guarding against erring in their judgment by waiting until the facts are in. (Perhaps it has learned from the mistakes of other leagues).

The facts as they are seen now are said not to look great in this case (there’s a suggestion of injury), but the facts can change when they are dependent on testimony, often of a single person – the complainant – in cases like this.

Osuna is pleading not guilty and denying the charges; he was arrested May 8 in Toronto. While MLB prefers not to rush a judgment, Osuna also is concentrating on winning his court case, which doesn’t necessarily mean he seeks to rush anything, either. His situation is further complicated by the fact he plays in Canada, and needs to avoid having visa issues on the frequent trips to and from the United States, as Shi Davidi pointed out on his story this week on

There’s also been a widely-held assumption and perception out there that whatever penalty he receives would be mitigated by the 36 games he’s already missed, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Though the players union can challenge any ruling, and MLB prefers the union to sign off on rulings for that reason, he’s been on paid administrative leave to this point, and there’s a loss of pay during MLB-issued bans. MLB also doesn’t need a conviction to issue a lengthy ban.

Jose Reyes received a 51-game ban, Aroldis Chapman 30 games and Jeurys Familia and Steven Wright 15 games though there was no conviction. In most of the cases, too, there were no injuries reported, and even nothing physical in a couple of those cases.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.

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