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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

December 10, 2009 at 7:28 AM

M’s take Texeira in Rule 5 draft…no, not Mark

In the Rule 5 draft, the Mariners went with someone that Jack Zduriencik has drafted before, right-handed pitcher Kanekoa Texeira from the Yankees’ organization.

Texeira, who was born in Maui and went to high school in Honolulu, was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 34th round in 2004 when Zduriencik was scouting director, but didn’t sign, instead attending Saddleback Junior College in Southern California. The White Sox drafted Texeira in the 22nd round of the 2006 draft, and he was traded to the Yankees prior to last season in the Nick Swisher deal.

Here’s an analysis of Texeira.

Texeira, 23, made 41 appearances (six starts) last year for Class AA Trenton Thunder. He was 9-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 101 1/3 innings, striking out 88 in 101 1/3 innings while walking 43. In those six starts, the first of his pro career, he was 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA. In his minor-league career, Texeira is 21-13 with a 2.49 ERA in 154 games, with 42 saves. In 245 2/3 innings, he has given up 208 hits, struck out 237, and walked 92.

“There’s some familiarity with him, because we drafted him in Milwaukee,” Zduriencik said. “It’s a kid that’s got a great groundball/strikeout ratio. He’ll have a chance to compete, and see where it falls.”

The Mariners pay the Yankees $50,000 for Texeira, who must stay on their major-league roster all season or be offered back to the Yankees for $25,000. The Rule 5 is a crapshoot — an inexpensive gamble that you’ll hit on a jewel, such as Dan Uggla, Joakim Soria, or, the patron saint of the Rule 5, Johan Santana. More likely, the Mariners will look at Texeira all spring and decide they don’t have the luxury of carrying him on their roster all year. That’s what happened last year with infielder Reegie Corona, Zduriencik’s first Rule 5 selection as Mariner GM, also taken out of the Yankee organization and sent back at the end of spring.

In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, the Mariners selected right-handed pitcher Terrence Engles from the Washington Nationals. Engles, 24, was originally selected by the Expos in the 20th round of the 2003 draft, and signed as a draft-and-follow in May of 2004 out of Seminole Community College in Florida. He is 15-30 with a 5.32 ERA in 83 minor-league games — 62 starts. Last year, Engles was a combined 8-5, 3.33 between Class A Hagerstown and Potomac.

The Mariners lost infielder Marshall Hubbard off their Class AA West Tennessee roster to the Mets.

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