On Thursday morning (or afternoon depending on where you live), the San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles completed a trade.
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) February 4, 2016
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 4, 2016
Despite discussions of Andrew Cashner being of some interest to the Baltimore Orioles over the last week, the asking price may have been too high for the Orioles to bite. Instead the Orioles have acquired Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres in return for minor leaguer Jean Cosme.
In terms of immediate impact, this trade makes a lot of sense for both sides. Following the signing of Fernando Rodney, the Padres needed an extra 40-man roster spot. Sending Despaigne to Baltimore will allow the team to officially sign Rodney. From the Orioles perspective, the team has been in obvious need of, and has looked for, rotation upgrades all winter. While not the flashiest acquisition, Despaigne should provide extra depth in the Orioles rotation, and perhaps compete with Mike Wright and Vance Worley for the Orioles final rotation spot.
After having a bit of a breakout year in 2014, finishing the season with a 3.36 ERA and 1.1 WAR in just under 100 innings pitched, it seems the league figured Despaigne out in 2015. Despaigne threw a combined 125 and two-third innings for the Padres last season, including 18 starts and 16 appearances out of the bullpen. Despaigne saw his ERA balloon to almost six while his strikeout rate fell under five per nine innings. All in all, it seems like Despaigne clearly wore out his welcome in San Diego, especially with a new regime in charge that were not the ones that originally signed him.
In Jean Cosme (also known as J.C.), the Padres get more minor league depth, further recovering from last year’s purge. Cosme is still only 19, drafted out of Puerto Rico in the 2014 draft by the Orioles. Cosme threw 57 innings in Low A ball for the Orioles last season, finishing with a 4.74 ERA and 3.17 FIP. Cosme did not make the Orioles top 30 prospects this year, and seems like organizational depth at best. At only 19 he could still break out, but the Padres made this trade more for the 40-man roster spot than the immediate impact on their team.
All told, this trade was a logical one for both sides. The Padres freed a spot for Fernando Rodney on the team, and the Orioles got at least marginally better in their rotation. Not a huge trade by any means, but at least some February action with Spring Training right around the corner.