General manager Sandy Alderson and the Mets may have missed out on Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, but there's still plenty of talent available this offseason. One example of that talent is right-handed pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, who, like Abreu, is a Cuban defector looking to play in the major leagues in 2014.
Although Despaigne is 26 years old, he's already pitched for eight seasons in Cuba's Serie Nacional. His career ERA is 3.65, but last season he stymied opposing batters with a 2.58 mark. The Mets were reportedly one of the teams that recently watched Despaigne pitch in Barcelona, Spain, and the team is likely to have representatives on hand when Despaigne works out for scouts in Mexico sometime in the near future.
Despaigne reportedly defected from Cuba in early July during a layover at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris while his team was in Europe for a tournament.
According to Despaigne's agent Jaime Torres, a contract for his client will be negotiated at that workout in Mexico. The Phillies, Yankees, Giants, and Mariners are other teams with reported interest in Despaigne.