Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne is traveling to Mexico to put on a showcase for MLB teams in hope of garnering a contract, reports El Nuevo Herald.
The Yankees, Giants, Mariners, Mets and Phillies are confirmed to have scouted Despaigne while he was in Spain. Despaigne defected while in Europe with the Cuban national team while they were on their way to a tournament in the Netherlands. Pitching in Mexico will allow teams an even better chance to see the 27-year-old's skill-set.
Despaigne's agent, Jaime Torres, had the following to say about his client (h/t MLB Trade Rumors for the translation):
"Everything's ready and the paperwork arrived quickly for Odrisamer. Since word got out about his escape, teams from the Majors began to get interested in the young man, and this interest has continued growing. In Mexico he'll try out in front of the scouts, and we'll negotiate the contract there."
Though Despaigne has been cleared to sign with an MLB team, he does still need clearance from the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control before he can enter the U.S.
While playing for the Industriales in 2013, Despaigne made 23 total starts and posted a 3.27 ERA, though he tailed off in the second half. He struck out 98 batters in 143 innings of work. The second half came when only eight teams advanced after the first half of a season, though, so he would have been playing against the best teams in the league in a form of playoffs.
Despite playing in Cuba since he was 19, there is very little to his scouting report at the time. In fact, about all that is known for sure publicly is that he throws right handed. Surely more will be known after his showcase when teams have a better idea about what kind of pitcher Despaigne can be.