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2010 Retrospective: Kanekoa Texeira

Come gather round folks and grab a seat as I regale you all with a story about a man with an unkempt beard. Kanekoa Texeira arrived in the Mariner organization last winter via a Rule 5 draft selection from the Yankees. Texeira had been residing with the Yankees because the Chicago White Sox traded him and Nick Swisher there in exchange for Wilson Betemit and other bad players. Wilson Betemit, of course, is well known for breaking up Brandon Morrow's no-hitter during Morrow's first Major League start. Wilson Betemit can go to hell.

Texeira's Mariners career lasted almost two whole months. Then the team dropped him and Jesus Colome so that Sean White and Garrett Olson could come in and make sure that while the team would continue sucking, they would at least be less interesting while doing it.

The Royals jumped all over that and claimed Texiera off waivers. While the Mariners continued to plunge down the American League depths, Texeira enjoyed some moderate initial success with Kansas City. The all too familiar "they always get better when they leave" dead horse was trotted out for a fresh beating at the thought that the Mariners had carelessly dropped a potentially useful reliever.

This is why I find retrospective looks so important. They battle against notions that we tend to form over short times and first impressions. Texeira had a good first few outings for Kansas City and that's enough to risk fans classifying him as another example of players the Mariners were too hasty to part with.

Process wise, I lightly agree with criticism over the move. Seattle may have unfairly scapegoated Kanekoa Texeira. His absurdly high line drive rate led to a .363 BABIP and an inflated ERA. He probably should have been allowed to stick around longer instead of reconfirming that Sean White wasn't worth anything.

Results wise however, Kanekoa Texeira was no big loss. And he certainly did not get better after leaving. Despite getting more experience at the Major League level and despite a lower ERA with Kansas City, Texeira put up worse stats in KC. His xFIP rose, his strikeout to walk ratio went down and his strikeout rate plummeted.

Kanekoa Texeira is young. There's a chance he develops into a decent middle reliever and this 2010 season was the perfect opportunity to give someone like Texeira a chance to stick. On that front, I disagree with replacing Texeira with whom the Mariners did. But  it is important to stay grounded. At worst, the Mariners prematurely axed a chance at finding an okay-ish reliever down the line.