The Orioles and Padres today agreed upon a trade of Odrisamer Despaigne in exchange for minor league Jean Cosme.
The Padres needed to make some room on their roster after acquiring Fernando Rodney, (The deal has yet to be announced.) while Baltimore is hoping that Despaigne can round out an already shaky starting rotation. Baltimore was in need of another starter after letting Chen walk this off-season and was clearly getting desperate with whispers they could turn to Brian Matsuz. Cosme was not considered to be one of the Orioles’ top prospects.
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.