Roberto Osuna headed to Houston Astros amid domestic violence suspension

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Astros face backlash over pitcher accused of domestic violence

The reaction to the Astros acquiring Roberto Osuna was swift Monday, as many people called out the team for bringing in a player accused of domestic abuse.

Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow said in a conference call he knew there would be backlash.

"(We) don't take a decision like this lightly. We understand there's going to be a lot of people that don't agree with this decision," he said.

Luhnow said he's followed Osuna's baseball career and he's been after him for a while. But it wasn't until now that the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to the trade.

RELATED: Roberto Osuna, traded to Astros for Ken Giles, wrapping up domestic violence suspension

Last month, MLB suspended Osuna for 75 games due to allegations that he assaulted a woman on May 8.

Luhnow admits the Astros don't know all the details of the case, but he said he felt comfortable with the trade after a conversation with Osuna and his associates.

"The things that I was looking to hear from him, I did. I was very happy with that conversation," Luhnow said.

He did not answer whether he'd reached out to the alleged victim in the case.

The Astros organization trumpets having a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence. Last year, they released minor league player Danry Vasquez after a domestic violence incident which was caught on camera.

RELATED: Disturbing video released showing former Astros prospect allegedly hitting then-girlfriend
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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he was outraged after video surfaced showing the former Astros prospect beating his girlfriend.

Luhnow insists this is a different situation, because Osuna's alleged assault happened before the Astros acquired him.

"If anything happens going forward, we absolutely will adhere to our zero-tolerance policy," he said. "I believe you can have a zero-tolerance policy and also have an opportunity to give people second chances when they have made mistakes in the past and other organizations."

While it's unclear exactly what happened in Osuna's alleged assault, it is clear why the Astros organization believe the controversial trade is worth it.

"(Osuna) is a weapon that can make us better so, on the baseball side, he is one of the elite pitchers. And we're hopeful that he will continue to have success here in the field in Houston," Luhnow said.

An unexpected side effect from the trade, several people have posted on Twitter images of their donations to the Houston Area Women's Center, which helps domestic violence victims.

The center released a statement on the issue:

"...we would like to say we are glad that the community is talking about domestic violence and recognizing it as a community concern. We believe the fans have a right to know about issues with players and domestic violence and have a right to ask for transparency and accountability. Because domestic violence is a community issue it's important that organizations like the MLB have policies in place that protect victims and prioritize their safety and also hold abusers accountable for their actions. It is important that organizations seek partnerships with national and local nonprofits when crafting policies against domestic and sexual violence so they work from a place where abusers are held accountable and survivors are kept safe."

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sportsdomestic violenceHouston AstrosMLBHouston
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