The Orioles and Padres are in agreement on a trade that will send right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to Baltimore in exchange for minor league right-hander Jean Cosme, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com had first reported that Cosme was headed to the O’s in exchange for a pitcher off San Diego’s Major League roster.
Despaigne, 28, is coming off a tough season with the Padres in which he posted a sky-high 5.80 ERA with 4.9 K/9, 2.3 BB.9 and a 50.5 percent ground-ball rate in 125 1/3 innings. While the ERA is certainly uninspiring, metrics such as FIP, xFIP and SIERA all pegged Despaigne more in the mid-4.00 range, with some of the ERA spike being attributed to an abnormally low number of runners stranded and a spike in his homer-to-flyball ratio. A year prior, Despaigne tossed 96 1/3 innings in his rookie season, compiling a considerably better 3.36 ERA with 6.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 52.5 percent ground-ball rate. Despaigne has experience both in the rotation and the bullpen and will give Baltimore another arm for its rotation mix or serve as a candidate to compete for a swingman job out of the bullpen. As Kubatko noted, Despaigne also has minor league options remaining (three of them, to be exact), so he can be sent down to Triple-A and stored at Norfolk as a depth piece in the event that an injury arises.
From the Padres’ vantage point, Despaigne probably became expendable when the team added Carlos Villanueva to serve as a swingman/long reliever. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out (on Twitter) that the trade also frees up a spot on the 40-man roster for Fernando Rodney, whose one-year deal with San Diego has yet to be announced. Cosme is a 19-year-old out of Puerto Rico that Baltimore selected in the 17th round of the 2014 draft. He’s posted a 4.73 ERA with 8.7 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 72 1/3 professional innings but did not rank among Baltimore’s Top 10 prospects this offseason, per Baseball America.
Of course, the broader move also ties in with the Rodney signing. He’ll join the Pads on an incentive-laden deal and look to rebound from a tough 2015 season. Soon to turn 39, Rodney’s ratios and results suffered last year. But he may have been somewhat unlucky in the volume of home runs he surrendered, and still brings a 95+ mph heater.