We’re all pretty much stuck in a baseball waiting game at the moment, it would seem. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Dallas Keuchel all remain unsigned despite the trio seeking somewhere in the vicinity of $700+ million in guarantees from MLB clubs, and that’s the kind of crazy earmarked coin that will take a while to trickle back down into other baseball transactions from the clubs that lose out in that trio’s sweepstakes.
While that top-tier of free agents holds out, there have been a few minor league moves of note by the Cincinnati Reds, most notably the addition of pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, as reported by Rahul Setty from our friends at Halos Heaven. Despaigne, who’ll turn 32 in April, wrapped his 2018 season in Los Angeles with the Halos, and has spent time with the Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, and San Diego Padres in his five years since defecting from Cuba.
Despaigne has never been a strikeout machine, as his 5.6 career K/9 across 349.2 big league innings suggests, but that K/9 mark did jump to a career best 8.1 during his 39 innings between Miami and LA last year, so perhaps there’s something left in his tank. Of course, that also coincided with a spike in ERA (a not-nice 6.69), H/9, BB/9, so there is obviously a lot more going on than just ‘he figured out how to miss bats.’ If anything, his 4.31 FIP from last year sat right in-line with his career 4.35 mark, and given that his four-pitch mix remained somewhat similar to where it’s always been, my best guess is he’s pretty much the middle-of-the-road arm he’s always been.