First of all, his name's not Mark, and the spelling of Kanekoa Texeira's last name is slightly different than that of the vaunted Yankees slugger. Plus he's a pitcher with skills the Mariners admire and could potentially play very well in Safeco Field.
"He's got good ground-ball rates and strikeout rates," general manager Jack Zduriencik said of the 23-year-old right-hander, who came to the Yankees along with Nick Swisher in a trade with the White Sox prior to the 2009 season.
"He's an experienced kid who competes. We'll take a shot and give him a chance."
Texeira, a native of Maui, Hawaii, made 41 appearances (six starts) last season with the Yankees' Double-A affiliate in Trenton, N.J., going 9-6 with a 2.84 ERA and two saves. He also made the first six starts of his professional career, going 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA . He joined the Yankees organization prior to the 2009 season in a trade with the White Sox along with Nick Swisher.
Zduriencik has known of Texeira for a while.
The Mariners GM was in the Milwaukee Brewers organization when the club selected Texeira in the 34th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft (916th overall). Texeira didn't sign and went to Saddleback Junior College in California, where White Sox scout Danny Ontiveros saw something in him and invited him to a workout at Santa Ana College. Texeira opened eyes, throwing 88-92 mph. The White Sox took him in the 22nd round of the 2006 Draft, and he's been moving up the ranks since.
Using a three-quarter delivery, Texeira throws a fastball with late life and a slider. While in the Chicago system, he had a 0.93 ERA in 36 outings with Winston-Salem in the Class A Advanced Carolina League before moving up to Double-A Birmingham and posting a 2.01 ERA in 15 games there.
"He'll be with the club in Spring Training and we'll see how he does," Zduriencik said.
With the addition of Texeira, the Mariners' 40-man roster is now at 39 players. Seattle pays $50,000 for the rights to Texeira, who must stay on the big league roster for the entire 2010 season or else be offered back to the Yankees for $25,000.
In the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Mariners selected right-handed pitcher Terrence Engles from the Washington Nationals in the Triple-A phase and lost infielder Marshall Hubbard off the Double-A West Tennessee roster when Hubbard was taken by the New York Mets.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.