Cuban righty Odrisamer Despaigne can now sign with a MLB club after being cleared by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports (via Twitter). Despaigne is represented by agent Jaime Torres, who also represented players like Jose Contreras, Alexei Ramirez, and Yasiel Puig as they transitioned from Cuban baseball to the big leagues.
Despaigne, a righty, turns 27 in early April. Several clubs were noted as having watched Despaigne throw as of late October, but the list has no doubt grown since. As Sanchez notes, Despaigne has participated in two recent showcases in Mexico. The righty threw eight innings over two starts in the Mexican Pacific League in late December, allowing three earned runs and registering two strikeouts against two walks. Steve Sypa of Amazin' Avenue has a nice profile on Despaigne.
Despaigne could hold another showcase before choosing a team, Sanchez says. Several teams that had been interested in Masahiro Tanaka also showed interest in Despaigne, Sanchez adds in another tweet. Despaigne joins fellow Cuban Yenier Bello – who was also just cleared — on the list of 2014 free agents.