Yesterday we reported that the Yankees acquired outfielder Jamie Hoffmann from the Dodgers as their first overall pick in the rule 5 draft, but that wasn’t the only news of the day.
They also lost pitchers, lefty Zach Kroenke to the Diamond backs and right-hander Kanekoa Texeira, who they acquired along with outfielder Nick Swisher last year, to the Seattle Mariners.
Two players that could have been taken, but were spared were outfielder Colin Curtis and righty Kevin Whelan. Curtis was left exposed because at the time he was buried behind Austin Jackson, but once Jackson was traded the Yankees were probably left wishing they had added him to the 40-man roster. It’s also probably at least part of the reason they selected an outfielder with their pick. Whelan is a hard throwing pitcher who did pretty well in 14 games at triple-A last season where he put up a 2.84 ERA.
Kroenke is almost definitely going to be lost even if he doesn’t make the Diamondbacks active roster because he has a clause in his contract allowing him to be come a free agent in that event. As a lefty he almost certainly would have played at some point in the 2010 season even though he is behind Michael Dunn on the depth charts.
Texeira was expected to start this season in triple-A Scranton after he played all of last year at double-A. Last year he had a 9-6 record, appeared in 41 games, with an ERA of 2.84. My guess is that the Yankees will get him back because he is a little wild and probably not quite ready for the majors.
Curtis could be a guy the Yankees see at some point this season, especially if Hoffmann doesn’t stick with the team. He’s never had overwhelming numbers in the minors, in triple-A last season he played in 70 games while hitting .235 with a .649 OPS, but he’s always been said to be a pretty safe bet to be a backup outfielder in the majors since he can play all three spots and has plus defense. His problem is that his none of his tools are exceptional, he’s expected to hit, but not for power. He can run, but doesn’t steal a lot of bases. To me, he’s a long shot, but from what I have heard about him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stick.