San Diego,CA- The San Diego Padres are repordedly near a deal with Cuban free-agent right-handed pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the deal is a minor league contract worth not a huge amount of money and still needs to secure a visa and pass a physical before officially signing with the Padres.The process is expected to take about three-four weeks.
Despaigne, 26, defected from Cuba last July and worked out for the Padres and other major league scouts along with Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz in February at the Padres’ spring training facility. According to Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego, the Padres were in the mix to sign Diaz, before he signed with the Cardinals.
Despaigne is expected to project as a 4th-5th starter in the rotation or a middle reliever at the major league level. He pitches from a variety of arm angles and throws his fastball between 92 mph- 94 mph.
Here’s a full scouting report from a high-ranking international scouting official to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com.
"“I would say his stuff is average across the board. He’s got feel and he’s got deception, and he knows how to pitch. The biggest thing going for him is his ability to mix and match and change slots and change arm angles. He probably throws four different pitches from different slots and different angles. He never gives guys the same look, and he throws a lot of strikes. But he doesn’t have anything plus.” The official considers Despaigne’s pitches to be fringe-average or slightly above-average, depending on the day. “I see him as a middle inning type of guy. He’s going to have to really throw a ton of strikes to have success. He’s really no different than a lot of six-year free agents and non-roster invitees that are out there right now. I think he fits in well to a bullpen probably as a middle inning reliever and potentially a long guy or a No. 5 starter.”"