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Report: Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne defects

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HAVANA (AP) - Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne has reportedly defected while in Europe with the country's national team.

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Communist Party newspaper Granma says Despaigne abandoned the squad at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport during a layover en route to a baseball tournament in the Netherlands.

The 26-year-old Despaigne is an eight-year veteran who played for Havana powerhouse ball club Industriales. Last season the right-hander recorded a 5-2 record in 12 starts.

Defections are common by Cuban ballplayers, lured by the prospect of multimillion-dollar contracts in Major League Baseball.

Granma did not say Tuesday when he defected. It reported the news in the last paragraph of a story about a 7-0 Cuba loss to Holland in Rotterdam.

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