The Reds have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne, as first reported by HalosHeaven’s Rahul Setty (Twitter link). Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (also via Twitter), the contract comes with an $875K base salary in the event that the righty cracks the MLB roster in Cincinnati. Despaigne is represented Movement Management Group.
Despaigne, 32 in April, split the 2018 season between the Marlins and Angels, struggling to a 6.69 ERA with a 35-to-19 K/BB ratio in 39 innings of work. He finished out the 2018 campaign on the Halos’ active roster but was outrighted and elected free agency early in the offseason.
The journeyman right-hander had a strong showing as a rookie with the Padres back in 2014 and enjoyed solid results with the Marlins in ’17, but Despaigne has generally been inconsistent at the big league level. Through 349 2/3 Major League innings, the Cuban-born righty has a 4.94 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.85 HR/9 and a 46.7 percent ground-ball rate.
Despaigne has experience pitching both as a starter and a reliever, and he’s logged a 4.11 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 in 225 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He’ll serve as a depth addition for the Reds but isn’t likely to be counted on early in the season with a slew of arms on the depth chart ahead of him.
Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani are penciled into the first four spots in the Reds’ rotation, while the bullpen will feature right-handers Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, Jared Hughes, David Hernandez and left-hander Amir Garrett, at the very least. The Cincinnati organization also has no shortage of 40-man options who’ll compete for those final few spots on the staff, including Tyler Mahle, Robert Stephenson, Matt Wisler, Brandon Finnegan, Wandy Peralta, Sal Romano, Cody Reed, Lucas Sims and Matthew Bowman, among others. Of that bunch, Stephenson and Wisler are out of minor league options.