BALTIMORE -- Seeking to add pitching depth, the Orioles acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres in exchange for Minor League pitcher Jean Cosme on Thursday.
Despaigne gives Baltimore an attractive flexible piece. He has three Minor League options remaining and can be a long reliever or a fifth starter. The move opened up a 40-man roster spot for San Diego, which was needed to add veteran closer Fernando Rodney, whose free-agent deal was finalized.
"Despaigne is a solid addition to our pitching staff because of his versatility. Our scouts have liked him for some time," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "He has proven he can start and serve as a long-relief option out of the bullpen. Over the last two seasons in San Diego, he pitched 222 innings in 50 games, 34 of which he started. He is a good competitor, and we expect him to compete for a spot in the back end of the rotation."
Duquette, who also described Despaigne as crafty, has been adamant this offseason that he would be able to add to the team's pitching staff. With the loss of lefty Wei-Yin Chen to free agency and a reluctance to part with a Draft pick if they signed free-agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo, Thursday's trade gives the O's some more depth.
Despaigne, a 28-year-old Cuban, made 34 appearances, including 18 starts, for San Diego last season but struggled to a 5-9 record with an ERA of 5.80. He is a finesse pitcher with a fastball that lives in the low 90s. Left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser was designated for assignment to make room for Despaigne on the 40-man roster.
Cosme, 19, played in the Class A New York-Penn League last year. He made 12 starts for Aberdeen and was 3-5 with a 4.74 ERA.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.