The Padres have officially announced the signing of Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to a minor league contract that is reportedly worth $1MM. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reported last month that the two sides were finalizing a deal, and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the hang-up was likely over Despaigne’s need to get a visa.
Back in March, Dierkes spoke with a high-level scout to get a report on Despaigne, learning that he has four average offerings that he can deliver from a number of different arm slots, leading the scout to point out his ability to deceive hitters. That same scout also told Dierkes that Despaigne “knows how to pitch,” suggesting a good feel for the game. Despaigne recently changed agencies, switching from Jaime Torres to Charisse Dash of DPX Sports.
The 27-year-old Despaigne posted a 3.65 career ERA in eight seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional and was much better in his final season, posting an ERA of just 2.58. It’s unclear exactly what role he would fill with the Padres in the long-term, but the scouting report received by Dierkes seemed to suggest that Despaigne is on a big-league track, be it as a back-end starter or a middle reliever. Despaigne was also connected to the Diamondbacksand Twins at various points this offseason.
MLB.com’s Corey Brock first reported (on Twitter) that the $1MM minor league deal was official after Despaigne had received his visa and passed a physical.