Should the Yanks bring Kanekoa Texeira back?

Swisher playing to the home crowd
Series Preview: Orioles (15-36) at Yankees (31-20)
"You're going to have to shave that thing, son." (Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson, AP)

In the midst of a disappointing 19-31 season thanks in part to one of the game’s worst offenses (.298 team wOBA, which is just a click north of Randy Winn territory), the Mariners started making changes to the roster last night with more moves to come. The first set of changes involved a familiar name to Yankee fans, sinker-slider reliever Kanekoa Texiera, who was Rule 5’d in December. The Mariners designated him for assignment (along with MVP 2005 All Star Jesus Colome) to make room on the roster for some other bullpen pieces.

Texeira was by no means great with Seattle, but he wasn’t dreadful either. His ERA was certainly high at 5.30, but his peripheral stats remained decent: 6.75 K/9, 4.82 BB/9, and a 44.8 GB%, leading to a 3.39 FIP and a 4.34 xFIP. Sure, the walks are high, but I suspect that’s the result of some rookie jitters considering his career minor league walk rate is solid at 3.4 BB/9. Jonny Venters of the Braves has similar peripherals (3.51 FIP, 4.38 xFIP) in 1.2 more innings this year, but he sports a 0.89 ERA. That’s what having .363 BABIP and a 63.6% strand rate like Texeira will do to you, artificially inflate that ERA.

The Mariners have already started the process of returning Texiera to the Yanks, but I imagine they would prefer to work out a trade so they could keep him in the organization. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik not only drafted Texeira in the Rule 5 Draft last winter, but also out of high school in 2004 when he was the Brewers’ scouting director. It’s pretty obvious he’s a fan of his. What should the Yankees do though, should they take Texiera back if given the opportunity? Simply put, hell freaking yes.

It’s not a matter of having him step right in to help the big league team, it’s about adding inventory. As we’ve been saying for over two years now, the Yankee bullpen is built on having lots of options and lots of flexibility behind Mariano Rivera. If an Edwar Ramirez wasn’t getting the job done, there was a David Robertson waiting in the wings. If Robertson can’t get the job done, Mark Melancon is a phone call away. Given the volatility of relief pitchers, there’s nothing more you can do than have plenty of interchangeable pieces, and Texeira would be just another piece of that puzzle. Another guy making the league minimum with two quality pitches, something you can’t have too many of.

Of course, getting him back in the organization might not be easy. The entire point of the Rule 5 Draft is to give players stuck in the minors an opportunity to play in the big leagues, and because of this Texeira will have to clear waivers before the Yanks even have the option of taking him back. If another team were to claim him, the Rule 5 rules (having to keep him on the 25-man roster all year) would simply shift to the new team. Considering the bullpen drek that exists in places like Arizona (5.30 bullpen xFIP), Cleveland (5.10), and Kansas City (4.96), there would seem to be a demand for his services.

Remember, the Yanks managed to find a taker for Edwar Ramirez earlier this year, and not only was he the epitome of a one trick pony, but he’s also five years older than Texeira. If someone wanted him, I’m sure someone will want Texiera. Perhaps a stat-savvy team not scared off by an ugly ERA. The Yankees lost one potential relief option when Zach Kroenke leveraged his ability elected free agency to remain with the Diamondbacks as a Rule 5 pick this spring, but they might have a chance to rebuild some depth by paying the $25,000 to get Texeira back. Let’s hope they take advantage of it.

Swisher playing to the home crowd
Series Preview: Orioles (15-36) at Yankees (31-20)
  • ADam

    Would not be a terrible depth addition to the AA/AAA pens

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Bring him back just to make him shave and get a haircut. Then trade him. haha

  • rek4gehrig

    I’m all for anything that’ll help the BP…no more blown 5-6 run leads. Heck, no more blowing 2 run leads

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Texeira for Ackley, or no deal.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    I’ll let Seattle keep Kanekoa if they give us:

    -the rights to Erik Bedard (DL trade restrictions be damned)
    -bullpen coach John Wetteland
    -Dustin Ackley (but we promise not to play him against them)
    -Ken Griffey Jr.
    -a truckload of No-Doz (for GriffBones)
    -and a case of Deca Durabolin (also for GriffBones)
    -Shaun Alexander, plus a snazzy tuxedo that fits Shaun Alexander, so that he can be the celebrity greeter at the front of YS3, Vegas-casino-style
    -the rights to the name “SuperSonics” into perpetuity

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I think Ken Griffey Sr. may be a better option at this point.

      • TheLastClown

        Griff Sr.? That bum? He’ll never play under the bright lights of NY again!

  • Reggie C.

    pretty emphatic post all for an inventory arm. wont kanekoa still rank below Romulo, Melancon, Logan, and possibly Whelan too?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I’d say:

      Melancon >>>>>>> Romulo = Kanekoa >>>>> Logan >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Whelan


      • Rick in Boston

        I’d say Romulo is slightly ahead of Kanekoa b/c of the extra innings he can provide.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Works for me.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Looks good to me. Whelan is just the last piece of a puzzle that never fit together.

        • Rick in Boston

          I wonder if the Pirates want him?

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            The Pirates can have Whelan in exchange for:

            -Ryan Doumit (plus cash)
            -Pedro Alvarez
            -Donnie Veal, a/k/a “The Poor Man’s Dontrelle Willis”
            -Bench coach Gary Varsho
            -All four of the women in the Pittsburgh–New Castle Combined Statistical Area that Ben Roethlisberger has yet to sexually assault in some way
            -Jack Sparrow
            -Franco Harris (whom we will then lease to the Just For Men commercials)
            -Dave Wannstedt’s moustache
            -the rights to the colors black and yellow, into perpetuity
            -a fish, preferably one with the power to grant salvation of some sort

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              If that’s too pricey, I’m also willing to throw in Boone Logan to sweeten the pot a bit.

              • CS Yankee

                How about Whelan, Logan & Kei for the exclusive rights to Big Ben’s attorney?

            • Rick in Boston

              Can we get photos of these girls to ensure they don’t already possess Wannstedt’s stache?

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              Moses Guthrie….for the Knicks.

            • Tampa Yankee

              Jack Sparrow

              I lol’d

      • Captain Jack

        They’re relievers, prone to SSS issues and some guys might just have a rough 20 innings or so…that’s fifteen outings, you really can’t afford to stick with a reliever through fifteen outings. My solution is throw shit at the wall until some sticks, so yeah, why not bring back Texeira.

        • Jammy Jammers


          • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            again with this?

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Remember, the Yanks managed to find a taker for Edwar Ramirez earlier this year…

    Indeed we did. And that cash payment for Edwar bought the finest River Ave. Hookers that money can buy, let me assure you.

    “Big Bank Hank” Steinbrenner

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    Yes, just for the name.

  • Un Named Yankee Source

    Here is the deal….

    Seattle can have Kanekoa but they need to take Igawa & Winn.


    For 25K why the heck not. His cousin is Shane Victorino so at least it’s in the genes….

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      What’s in the genes, poi?

  • steve (do)

    He’d immediately be the most productive Texiera on the roster, am I right??


    (Yes, I realize the spelling issue)

  • YankeesJunkie

    The extra depth is never bad thing to have considering how quickly bullpens can turn around.

  • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

    he will probably be claimed…actually, based on the teams you mentioned and my opinions of their management…he probably won’t be. then in that case you take him back in a second. why wouldn’t you?