KBO’s KT Wiz Re-Sign Odrisamer Despaigne

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The KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization announced they’ve re-signed pitchers Odrisamer Despaigne and William Cuevas. Despaigne signed a one-year deal worth $1.1MM that comes with an additional $250K in possible incentives; Cuevas inked a one-year, $1MM guarantee with $100K available in incentives (h/t to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap). Despaigne is represented by Charisse Dash of QC Sports.

This will be Despaigne’s third season with the Wiz, as he originally joined the franchise in advance of the 2020 campaign. He posted a 4.33 ERA across 207 2/3 innings that season, then re-upped on another deal last winter. The Cuba native pitched 188 2/3 frames in 2021, working to a 3.39 ERA with a 20.1% strikeout percentage and a 9.5% walk rate. That reliable production over a heavy workload impressed the Suwon-based club’s front office enough to bring him back for another year.

Despaigne, who turns 35 in April, is better known in the U.S. for his time in the big leagues, which spanned 2014-19. The bulk of that work came over his first two seasons, as Despaigne started 34 of 50 appearances with the Padres from 2014-15. His rookie campaign featured 96 1/3 frames with a 3.36 ERA and a very strong 52.1% ground-ball rate, but Despaigne couldn’t build off that solid debut showing. After two seasons in San Diego, the right-hander bounced between the Orioles, Marlins, Angels and White Sox. He’s made 109 MLB appearances (including 50 starts) and owns a 5.11 ERA over 363 major league innings.

Cuevas is back for a fourth year with the Wiz. The Venezuela native has been a capable rotation arm, tossing 140+ innings with an ERA around 4.00 in each of his first three years. That includes a 3.91 mark over 140 1/3 frames this past season, a year that saw Cuevas punch out 24% of opponents against an 8.9% walk rate. Before making the jump to South Korea, the 31-year-old spent time with the Red Sox and Tigers. He made 13 MLB appearances between 2016-18, working 22 1/3 innings of 8.06 ERA ball.

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