Why the Jays should go after Jorge Despaigne


The Blue Jays have seen a recent influx of young arms make their Major League Debute in 2014. Should this mean the Jays shouldn’t go after more young pitching in the upsoming off-season. I can answer that…..you can never, and I mean never, have too much pitching. Over the past couple years baseball has seen an number of impact bats come out of Cuba and a number of impact arms come from overseas. Could the Blue Jays go after recently defection of Jorge Despaigne?

It comes as no surprise that Jorge Despaigne is expected to draw interest from a number of teams. The 6-foot-3, 225 pound, Despaigne has a plus fastball that has been recorded in the high 90’s….with movement; unfortunately, he has some serious question marks surround his ability to command his pitches.

I did some digging and found some stats on Despaigne. My spanish isn’t very good so I didn’t spend too much time on his stats, but it does appear like Despaigne is a very giving pitcher. He issued 114 walks over 151.1IP, spanning 3 years, which is good for 6.78 BB/9. He struck out 105 batters out and that was good for 6.24 K/9, although he had did strike out 54 in 70+ innings this past year. To say he lacks polish would be an understatement.Those numbers don’t really scream big money pitcher and that is where he might be a perfect fit for the Blue Jays.

Despaigne is a wild card, having not appeared in any national games; therefore, scouts can only look to his club numbers. This can also make him more attractive for the Blue Jays, since that should scare off teams that might be less willing to gamble on this power arm. A lot will depend on how his upcoming showcase goes in Haiti on September 25th.

Now don’t get too excited for this guy because he won’t be eligible as an free-agent. Since he only played 3 seasons in Cuba, he is considered an international free-agent and his salary will count against the signing team’s international bonus. Teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have shown a complete disregard for this international bonus pool and have overspent the past two season, so there is no reason to think that 2015 will be any different.

Alex should head down to Haiti, since his club clearly has already travelled south. Heck he could also check out Dian Toscano, a 25-year-old outfielder who played for Villa and is an unrestricted free-agent, and Javier Gonzalez a 20 year old RHP.