A crucial pickup at the trade deadline often galvanizes a major league clubhouse, energizing players appreciative that their front office went the extra mile in an effort to win a championship.
Yet when that player is Roberto Osuna - still under suspension from Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy - and the acquiring team is the Houston Astros, the mood is far from celebratory.
Astros pitchers Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers tweeted their disgust earlier this year when surveillance video emerged of a former Astros minor leaguer assaulting his girlfriend.
Osuna, 23, is one of the game's best relievers and fills a closer role that was vacated with Ken Giles' poor performance. But he is serving a 75-game suspension that he quickly accepted after a May incident with a woman that resulted in criminal assault charges. He's expected to plead not guilty in Toronto on Wednesday.
Verlander, to say the least, does not sound pleased with the pickup, and said he was not among the players general manager Jeff Luhnow consulted before making the trade.
"It's a tough situation," Verlander said, per MLB.com, his enthusiasm level more matching that of breaking down a late-inning loss than the acquisition of a potentially dominant final piece to a World Series champion. "I think the thing for us to remember here is that the details have not come to light. We don’t know the whole story.
"Obviously, I’ve said some pretty inflammatory things about stuff like this in the past. I stand by those words."
Verlander said he wasn't surprised Luhnow did not consult him, noting that not everyone in a clubhouse gets a say on any deal and that "it was his decision" to acquire Osuna.
The club held a team meeting before Monday's game at Seattle; it was, as Verlander put it, "about us keeping a winning mindset and not letting distractions get in the way."
Once again – do these sound like the words of a trade deadline winner?
At 67-40, with a four-game lead in the American League West, the Astros are a solid bet to return to the postseason, and with a half-dozen charismatic All-Stars, enjoyed excellent chemistry.
Perhaps Osuna - who will address the team upon his arrival - won't disrupt that. The tone from one of the Astros' biggest stars seems to indicate that's not worth the risk.
"I just want to listen," Verlander said. "We don’t know the details of much. I haven’t really paid attention to (Osuna's case), for obvious reasons – it wasn’t really in my life.
"Now it is. That’s probably going to be a personal thing that stays in the locker room and won’t be talked about publicly, as those things are."