Baltimore has acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from San Diego in exchange for minor leaguer J.C. Cosme, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Despaigne debuted for the Padres in 2014 as a starter and then split last season between the rotation and the bullpen. Overall in two seasons as a big leaguer he has a 4.74 ERA in 222 innings, managing just 5.4 strikeouts per nine frames.
Given his low strikeout rate and relatively high home run total leaving a pitcher-friendly ballpark and going from the NL to the AL figures to be particularly rough on Despaigne, although it’s also possible the 29-year-old opens the season in the minors.
Cosme was a 17th-round draft pick in 2014 and spent last season pitching at low Single-A, posting a 4.74 ERA and 53/18 K/BB ratio in 57 innings as a starter. He’s considered a marginal prospect.
If that whole thing about the founder of MySpace offering to pay his salary to keep him in San Francisco doesn’t work out for Tim Lincecum he may be able to find a new home in Baltimore.
Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles “have expressed interest” in the free agent right-hander, but with the two-time Cy Young winner still planning an upcoming showcase to prove he’s healthy following hip surgery Encina adds that the level of interest is “unclear.”
Baltimore has previously been linked to free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo, but apparently that pursuit cooled due to their not wanting to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. They’re trying to replace left-hander Wei-Yen Chen, who signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Marlins.
Even if he looks healthy throwing for interested teams in the near future it’s hard to imagine Lincecum getting more than an incentive-laden one-year deal at this point. He’s still just 32 years old, but his velocity has been on the decline for a while now and he hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.00 since 2011.
Jonny Gomes will be taking his right-handed bat and constantly praised clubhouse presence to Japan, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the veteran outfielder has agreed to a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
According to Rosenthal he’ll get $2 million upfront and can earn another $1 million in incentives, which suggests Gomes’ only offers from MLB teams may have been of the minor-league variety.
Gomes failed to crack a .700 OPS in 2014 or 2015, hitting .213 with seven homers and a .660 OPS in 95 games for the Braves and Royals last season. At age 35 he likely would’ve had to compete for a part-time bench gig, so instead he opted for a guaranteed payday in Japan.
When the Mets signed free agent outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a one-year, $5.75 million deal in mid-December they did so thinking he’d be a regular, but re-signing Yoenis Cespedes changed those plans and now De Aza may not be long for New York.
General manager Sandy Alderson told Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal that De Aza’s role is “a little less clear” than it was at the time of the signing, adding that trading him is “conceivable.”
There’s nothing wrong with having outfield depth and $5.75 million, while a lot for a part-time player, isn’t a crazy salary. Certainly the Mets will be able to find, say, 250 at-bats for De Aza somewhere, although they also have one-time starting center fielder Juan Lagares slated for a part-time role.
As a left-handed hitter De Aza is a poor fit on a team that starts a pair of left-handed hitters, Curtis Granderson, and Michael Conforto, in the outfield corners, and Lagares will get the call first if/when a center fielder is needed.
Veteran left-hander Matt Thornton was pretty effective for the Nationals last season, throwing 41 innings with a 2.18 ERA, but between his being 39 years old and this offseason’s free agent market overflowing with quality relievers he’s yet to find work.
Thornton told Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio that he’s “waiting for a team to show serious interest” and added “I’m surprised that I don’t have a major league job yet.”
Thornton is no longer a top-notch setup man like he was for the White Sox in his prime, but he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA every season since 2008 and held left-handed hitters to a .198 batting average last season. Plenty of teams could use Thornton in a middle relief role, but it may have to be on a minor-league deal at this point.